There are some athletes who grab the attention of not only their coach, but opposing coaches as well.
Grand Ledge senior gymnast, and Division 1 all-around champion Rachel Hogan is one of those athletes. In the individual state finals Saturday she set a state record with a 9.875 on vault, on the way to a 38.000 all-around score.
“Rachel Hogan has the best vault that I’ve seen in years and years,” said Canton coach John Cunningham, who has been with his program for 48 years.
Hogan rounded out her day with a 9.7 on uneven bars, a 9.275 on floor exercises and a 9.150 on the balance beam.
Canton has strong showing in D1
Cunningham said he was happy with how his individual gymnasts performed a day removed from the team’s fifth-place finish in the team finals.
“I thought we had a fantastic meet today,” he said.
Junior Jana Hilditch finished fifth in the D1 all-around, with a total score of 36.875. Her best score was a 9.475 on vault.
“We had fantastic vaults,” Cunningham said. “Like really, really good,”
Forest Hills places fourth in all-around
For Forest Hills coach Lindsay Murray, the highlight of Saturday’s individual finals was seeing all four gymnasts who qualified for the state finals place in the all-around.
Junior Christine Byam was the team’s top Division 1 finisher, sixth with a 37.300. Teammate Cassidy Terhorst, a senior, finished seventh with a 37.075. Senior Hannah Esterman was ninth with a 36.575, while sophomore Lydia Bouma finished tied for fifth in Division 2 with a 35.300.
“It was a great weekend for Forest Hills,” said Murray, in her 10th year at Forest Hills. “I’m very proud to coach these girls. They’re all amazing. We have three in Division 1 and they’re consistent for our team. You can always count on them to put up a consistent score. They’re really good leaders.”
She said she was particularly optimistic about Bouma, who has two years remaining with the program.
“She did really well,” Murray said. “Vault is her specialty and she placed in the all-around. I’m really excited for the next two years with her.”
Area gymnasts perform well in Division 2
Livonia Blue’s Brianna Rhoad won the D2 all-around title with a total score of 36.525. Farmington United’s Elisa Bills (second, 36.225) and Jacquelyn Farquhar (third, 36.100) rounded out the top-three in a category in which the first eight of 10 medalists were from metro Detroit.
Team finals results
Rockford-Sparta won the team title Friday night with a total of 146.350 points. Farmington (third, 144.000), Howell (fourth, 141.925) and Canton (fifth, 140.975) finished in the top five.
“Rockford has just a powerhouse,” Cunningham said. “They hit everything. We would have had to have a miracle on ice to get at them.”
Al Willman is a freelance writer