The combinations Rockford/Sparta gymnastics team poses with their MHSAA D2 Regional Gymnastics trophy. ~ Contributed Photo
GRAND RAPIDS – The Rams gymnastics team had an impressive showing at the MHSAA Regional Saturday, March 2. The team claimed the regional crown in impressive fashion, not only earning their highest score of the season, but also showing incredible depth by landing five gymnasts in the top five in the All-Around. The combination Rockford/Sparta team not only blanketed the podium, they also were able to qualify seven gymnasts for the MHSAA D2 Individual State Finals.
Congratulations goes to the Rams team for moving on to the MHSAA Team State Finals. Congratulations also goes to gymnasts Reagan Ammon, Ashley Faulkner, Morgan Case, Chantel Lokers, and Averi Nixon, for qualifying for All-Around, and Nicole Curtis on the Vault, and Taylor Cullen for qualifying on the Floor, for the MHSAA Individual State Finals.
Head coach Michelle Ankney’s Rams claimed the 13-team regional with a score of 145.325, followed by runner-up Jackson, who tallied 140.300, and third place Forest Hills Central, who notched a 137.875.
The Rams achieved the incredible feat of landing the first five places in All-Around. Ram Reagan Ammon defended her Regional All-Around title by notching a season-high 37.05. She was followed by second-place finisher Ashley Faulkner (36.00), Morgan Case (35.6) in third, Chantel Lokers (35.525) in fourth, and Averi Nixon (35.125) in fifth. Nixon had the performance of her career, tallying not only a season-high, but a career high in points.
The Vault found Case at the top of the podium with a 9.4, followed by Ammon in second with a 9.25, and Faulkner and Curtis in a tie for seventh place with an 8.85.
Ammon tallied a season-best 9.1 on the Uneven Bars to claim first place, with Faulkner landing in second with a 9.075. Lokers earned third with an 8.525, and Nixon place sixth with a 8.175.
Ammon was found atop of the podium again on the Beam with a 9.275, followed by Faulner (9.25) in second, Lokers and Nixon (9.1) in third, and Case (8.55) in eighth.
Case was named regional champion on the Floor with a score of 9.55. Ammon (9.425) claimed second, Lokers (9.25) earned third, Nixon (9.15) finished fourth, and Cullen (9.05) landed eighth.
Ankney couldn’t help but be impressed with her entire team on Saturday.
“We had a great Regionals meet,” says Ankney. “Also, on this large team, there are several other standouts, too. We stuck 10 of our 13 beam routines including, Sydney Taylor, Avery Labbe, Natalie Burns, Ainsley Jehnzen, Averi Nixon, Nicole Curtis, Joey Gair, Chantel Lokers, Ashley Faulkner, and Reagan Ammon. On floor, both Elise Kinlaw and Joey Gair had their best performance of the season.”
The team will take the week to continue to prepare for the state finals.
“Overall, I am so proud of this team,” shares Ankney. “We sat down a few weeks ago and started dreaming of how to improve our scores. Many girls introduced news skills, and we have been working on cleaning up our performances. We are excited for state next week!”
The Rams will play host to the MHSAA Gymnastics Team State Finals, Friday, March 8, with competition beginning at 2 p.m. Rockford will start on the Vault at 2:40 p.m.
The Individual State Finals are scheduled at RHS, Saturday, March 9.
The Rams claimed an almost unbelievable top five spots in the All-Around in regional competition. Reagan Ammon defended her Regional All-Around title by notching a season-high 37.05. ~ Contributed Photo