MUNCIE — Adi Minor and Claire Thompson have been competing against each other as teammates and foes for more than a decade, and they can’t remember ever finishing in a tie with each other in an all-around competition.
But on Saturday afternoon at Ball State, in the final meet of their illustrious gymnastics careers, Columbus East’s Minor and Columbus North’s Thompson tied for second in the state finals in the all-around. They put up identical scores of 38.15 in leading the Bull Dogs and Olympians to third- and fourth-place team finishes, respectively.
“I was happy with how I ended,” Thompson said. “I didn’t win, but that’s not what matters. I had a good meet. I didn’t fall on anything. I hit all of my routines. Things could have been better, but I’m happy overall, especially since I tied with Adi. We’ve been best friends forever, so that was just icing on top of the cake.”
Minor did come away with a pair of individual event wins. She captured titles on the vault (9.725) and bars (9.675). She was co-champion on the bars last year.
Story continues below gallery
Minor also finished fourth on the floor with a 9.65. Only a fall on the beam, where she tied for eighth with a 9.25, kept her from winning the all-around, which was won by Chesterton’s Sophia Hunzleman with a 38.425.
“If it was going to end that way with me not winning, there’s no other way I would have wanted it to end,” Minor said. “After beam, it was sad because I gave up the all-around with that, but I would not have wanted to have it any other way than tying with my best friend at the end.”
Thompson, the two-time defending state champion on the beam, did best on that event, tying for third with a 9.475. She also finished fourth on the vault (9.6), tied for sixth on the bars (9.55) and tied for eighth on the floor (9.525), despite being in the hospital Monday and missing practice Monday and Tuesday.
Sophomore Sami Heathcote finished 10th in the all-around with a 36.65 for North. Junior Tova Edwards was 27th with a 34.075.
“We struggled a little bit on beam, but we did good,” North co-coach Sandy Freshour said. “These girls, with Claire being in the hospital Monday and Ashley (Niebrugge) spraining her ankle (Tuesday), it’s just been a all-out team effort to get us through the week and into today. We had some great performances, and they gutted it out, so it was a good day.”
Top-ranked Chesterton won the team title with a 114.4, less than a half-point ahead of No. 2 Valparaiso’s 113.95. The Bull Dogs finished with a 110.4, and East scored a 109.7. Homestead was fifth with a 109.2, followed by Portage (108.4235), Fort Wayne Carroll (108.375), Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (107.5) and Seymour (102.625).
North had finished first and second as a team the past two years, but co-coach Bob Arthur knew it would have been difficult to overtake Chesterton and Valpo this season.
“They only way for us to do anything against them was if we hit very well, and they did not have a great day,” Arthur said. “We had not a terrible day, but we didn’t have our best day, either. But third place ain’t bad, especially with the competition as tough as it is.”
For the Olympians, junior Abby Lewis tied for eighth in on the beam with a 9.25 and finished 21st in the all-around with a 35.35. Junior Taylor Gaskill took 10th on the floor (9.5) and 22nd in the all-around (35.25). Freshman Taylen Lane was 24th in the all-around (34.75).
East had finished sixth as a team each of the past two years.
“I’m happy for them,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “One of their goals was to place fourth so they could get their picture on the wall. They were very surprised because we didn’t have the best of days. It’s unfortunate because we’re a little better than what we displayed today, but we had some good performances, too. We’re glad for fourth, and we’re glad these girls got a medal.”