Thompson, Speidel take center stage

When you win the state all-around championship, you generally end any debates about who the best gymnast of the year was.

Still, it’s always nice to collect another trophy.

That’s exactly what Columbus North sophomore Claire Thompson did, earning the award for top gymnast of the year at the inaugural Indiana Sports Awards on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Thompson, who won the all-around, uneven bars and balance beam at the state meet while leading the Bull Dogs to a record score and their first team title since 1974, beat out finalists Adi Minor of Columbus East and Anna Watkin of Owen Valley.

Thompson wasn’t the only local luminary on hand. Former Columbus North basketball star Josh Speidel also was at the ceremony to present the Courage Award to Brebeuf soccer player Lauren Turner.

During his time on stage, Speidel encouraged those in attendance to savor every moment.

“I want people to know that life can change in the blink of an eye,” he told the crowd. “So enjoy every moment. No matter what happens to you, you have to keep believing and working hard to achieve your dream.”