MUNCIE — Gymnastics insiders say the balance beam is the toughest of the four events and, therefore, the toughest event to start on.
Emily Moore was not fazed.
The Columbus North senior broke her own school record with a 9.825 to help defend her state title on balance beam. Moore also added a floor and all-around title to walk away with three gold medals in the final competition of her career.
Moore was third in the all-around as a rookie, 0.175 points off first and second last year, 0.125 points off first. This year, she won by six tenths of a point.
“I’m really happy about that,” Moore said. “I wanted to win for four years, and now it’s finally happened.”
Moore’s winning beam routine may have surprised some after she fell off the beam in five straight meets before last week’s Franklin Central Regional.
“Looking back, I think I’ve only done a few beam routines this season,” Moore said. “Doing my last beam routine at the regional level helped me a lot.”
Moore won on floor with a 9.725 and then tied for fifth on vault with a 9.55. This gave him a six-tenths of a point lead in the all-around heading into the final rotation.
Luckily for Moore, she had enough of a cushion that a fall on her first attempt to climb the bars wouldn’t matter. With the half-point deduction, she finished 12th on bars with a 9.25, but her overall score of 38.275 was six-tenths of a point higher than second-placed Elly Kiran of Crown Point at 37.675.
“The board I’m jumping off of, I put it too far away, so when I was jumping towards (the bars), I completely missed it,” Moore said. “It was really nice (to have that track) to take a bit more pressure off.”
Meanwhile, North freshman Reese Euler made a stellar debut in state competition. Euler finished fifth on bars (9.375), tied for fifth on beam (9.225) and earned a third medal with a sixth place finish in the all-around (37.575).
“I’m really happy with what I did today,” said Euler. “My goal was to hit 4 for 4 events, and that’s what I did.”
Unfortunately for the Bull Dogs, they fell two-tenths of a point short of finishing on the podium with a top-four team. They took fifth place with a 107.825. Crown Point won with a 111.475.
North scored 26.45 on beam, 27.1 on floor, 27.35 on vault and 26.925 on bars.
“I don’t know if it was our best, but we still made it in the end,” Moore said.
“I think we did well overall as a team,” added Euler. “There are things we could have done better, but I think overall we did as well as we could have.”
Junior Alli Chambers finished 25th in the all-around with a 30.825. Junior Lindsey Mullis tied for 28th on bars with an 8.375.
“I’m proud of the performance of the girls,” North co-coach Kaitlyn Rediker said. “They gave everything they had today.”
The Bull Dogs were ranked 10th in the final state coaching poll the final week of the regular season, so Rediker and co-coach Bob Arthur were happy with fifth place in the state.
“We had a good year,” Arthur said. “There is no doubt that the girls have improved steadily and continuously throughout the season, and to finish in fifth place is not bad, considering the start of the season. We obviously hoped we could have been on the pedestal this year, but that gives us something to shoot for next year.