FORT WAYNE – Bishop Dwenger is loaded and ready for another run at a state gymnastics championship. The Saints, who finished third a year ago at state, have won five state crowns.
On the other hand, Homestead, which has six titles, is reloading after finishing eighth at state in 2013 and losing Megan Eggebrecht and Morgan Hardwick.
Also, Angola senior Alex Nickel is back after a state-championship sophomore season and a tough junior campaign.
Here’s a look at some of the top individuals, teams and stories that will be a part of the 2014 season.
Katy Linvill, Bishop Dwenger: The senior was fifth in the all-around at the state finals.
Alex Nickel, Angola: The senior was third on the uneven bars at the state finals.
Rachael Anderson, Heritage: The junior finished 18th in the all-around at the state finals.
Lauren Wagner, Northrop: The sophomore was 25th in the all-around at the state finals.
Taylor Ross, Homestead: The junior was 33rd in the all-around at the state finals.
Bishop Dwenger: The Saints have Linvill, juniors Alexis Eddy, Alena Chillian, Andrea Nix and Cecilia Sordelet, and sophomores Maria Trahin and Grace Gillig coming back.
DeKalb: The Barons return a talented junior class, including Kristin Russell, Ryley Gibson, Hayley Gibson and Keziah Lehman.
Huntington North: The Vikings have a solid nucleus with juniors Hannah Bomba, Erica Freise and Mavin Chaney and sophomore Carly Snyder.
Angola: Along with Nickel, the Hornets have junior Kennedy Trine and sophomore Addison Trine.
Homestead: The regional runner-up returns three juniors in Ross, Maddison Moore and Sophie Tsiguloff.
Missing Morgan: Hardwick, a senior, was 28th in the all-around at the state finals but decided not to compete for Homestead this year.
Saints’ success: Bishop Dwenger finished third at the state finals in 2013, first in 2012 and second in 2011.
No all-around champion: Northeast Indiana hasn’t had a state all-around champ since Dwenger’s Jeanna Van Hoey in 2005, but Linvill or Nickel could break through this year.
Nickel’s back: Nickel won the uneven bars and beam and finished second in the all-around at the 2012 state finals and is trying to regain that state-championship form.
Winn’s return: Heritage senior Kiersten Winn returns for her senior season after missing her junior year.