Though a tight race was expected at the top three individual placements during Saturday’s Concordia Gymnastics Sectional, Carroll Head Coach Rosemary Scheele stressed the focus is always on team performance.

Three of the elite gymnasts from the Fort Wayne area — Homestead’s Gina Zirille, Bishop Dwenger’s Emma Doyle and Carroll’s Julia Goodine — took the top three spots in the all-around competition in that order Saturday. The team scores followed that pattern with Carroll taking third (106.650), Dwenger taking second (109.975) and Homestead claiming its third straight title with 110.525 points.

“I don’t care about Julia beating Gina, I care about Julia doing her best so that we have more team points,” Scheele reasoned. “I’m always about the team. I don’t like the individual competition so much, because I think that pits girls against each other and it really is a team sport. At the end of the day, you do the best that you can do to get the highest points you can get to add to your team value.”

It was the second year in a row that the top three team finishes fell in that order. Carroll most recently won the meet in 2018, while the Saints’ last team trophy came in 2017. Scheele said she believed her Chargers were leading the standings after three rotations Saturday, before a tough go at the uneven bars and strong performances from Homestead and Dwenger in the floor exercise.

“We didn’t have a good bar performance today,” Scheele said. “Bars is our weakest thing anyway, and we had a couple falls. That hurts a little bit, but really the whole idea is just getting there and then getting those things fixed for regionals, and I’m happy with how the girls performed.”

Zirille’s top all-around medal was the culmination of first-place finishes in all four events, including a 9.75 on the floor and vault, 9.65 on the bars and 9.45 on the beam for 38.6 in all-around competition.

Doyle placed second on bars (9.175), third on the beam (9.3) and vault (9.6), and fifth on the floor (9.35) for 37.425.

Goodine placed second on floor (9.725) and vault (9.65), sixth on beam (9.05) and 10th on bars (8.275) for 36.7.

Claiming the final three spots in the top six all-around were Homestead’s Jillian Wohlwend in fourth, Homestead’s Allison Sierks in fifth and Carroll’s Bella Hoogland in sixth.

Also climbing the podium Saturday were:

• Samantha Givens, Carroll (fourth on vault)

• Bella Hoogland, Carroll (sixth on bars)

• Ava Stahl, Dwenger (third on floor, third on bars)

• Ava Reed, Dwenger (second on beam, fourth on floor, fourth on bars)

• Allison Sierks, Homestead (fourth on beam, sixth on vault)

• Kendyl Bond, Homestead (fifth on bars)

• Jillian Wohlwend, Homestead (fifth on vault, sixth on floor, sixth on beam)

• Rebecca Moravec, Northrop (fifth on beam)

Homestead, Dwenger and Carroll will all compete in Saturday’s Huntington North regional. The top three teams from that meet will advance to the state finals, which are scheduled for March 13. The top six individuals in each event will also advance, as well as the top six place winners in the all-around.

“I think we have it in us to do better, but I think Huntington is going to be a whole different ball game,” Scheele said. “… I think there’s going to be a lot of teams fighting it out for the top three, but especially second and third. I do think there’s a lot of equal talent to grab those three spots — at least with five of the teams. I don’t know who will be the sixth team, but I know probably who will be the five because we’ve competed against them. It could go any way, but you just have to perform. You have to hit your beam routines, you have to land your vaults, you have to hit your bars and your beam, so really it’s going to come down to who hits their routines.”

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