Bishop Dwenger gymnasts hang on by a fingertip to win Carter Classic

Carroll's Ella Smith placed ninth in the floor with a 9.125. (By Blake Sebring of
Bishop Dwenger's Rachel Landstoffer was sixth on the beam with a 9.05. (By Blake Sebring of
Carroll's McKinley Carroll finished fourth in the all-around with a 36.4. (By Blake Sebring of
Homestead's Catherine Milne was sixth in the all-around with a 35.925. (By Blake Sebring of
Concordia's Regan Twomey placed ninth in the all-around with a 35.5. (By Blake Sebring of
Concordia's Courtney Welker competing on the bars. (By Blake Sebring of
Bishop Dwenger's Sophia Wright-Turflinger on the balance beam. (By Blake Sebring of
Homestead's Yana Weir proved her comeback from a broken ankle suffered at the end of last season is a success. (By Blake Sebring of
Stephanie Lee of Bishop Luers on the vault. (By Blake Sebring of

Though it’s the state’s first big meet of the year, Concordia’s Becky Carter Classic had the intensity of a state meet on Saturday. No. 5-ranked Bishop Dwenger scored 109.985 to edge No. 6 Carroll’s 109.275 and No. 2 Valparaiso’s 108.825, but there was a rare circumstance.

Bishop Dwenger’s Sophia Wright-Turflinger started her bars routine during the meet’s second rotation but then slipped off when one of her hand grips split near the fingertip. She finished her routine, but then was allowed a second chance and scored an 8.8.

“There was an equipment failure, and we can’t see the score so we have to make a decision if we want to redo the routine or not,” Saints coach Rose Nix said. “Without seeing the score, then you get the option of do you want this routine or to go again. Her grips split near her fingers, and that’s why she stopped. That’s fair for the gymnasts because that’s beyond her control.”

Some of the other coaches weren’t so sure it was an equitable opportunity, though none wanted to be quoted. Several said off the record that they’ve all been in that situation previously but had never heard of a chance for a do-over. Meet official Nan Durant said the rule book does permit what happened.

The situation was too bad because the meet was outstanding with No. 12 Portage and No. 10 Homestead both topping 105 points, and No. 7 Merrillville and Huntington North topping 100, while Concordia, Northrop and Connersville flirted with 100.

“I think my kids did really well,” Carroll coach Rosemary Scheele said. “We came in here, performed… it was not our best routines but they were good enough. I think a little bit of nerves played into it, and I’m proud of the girls for picking each other up. All in all, they had a good day and they will get better.”

The meet is usually used to knock the off-season rust off and for the individuals to show what new skills they’ve been working on.

Bishop Dwenger’s Elaine Cornewell won the all-around with an exception early-season score of 37.150, edging Valparaiso’s Rachel Moneta with a 37.075. Carroll’s McKinley Carroll was fourth with a 36.4 followed by teammate Ashelynn Steinke with a 36.075. Homestead’s Catherine Milne was seventh with a 35.95, Carroll’s Ella Smith was eighth at 35.575, Concordia’s Regan Twomey was ninth with a 35.5 and Wright-Turflinger was 10th with a 35.15.

Cornewell also won the floor and the beam and teammate Jenna Farris tied for the vault title with Valparaiso’s Moneta and Concordia’s Twomey. Bishop Dwenger’s Rachel Landstoffer was second in the floor and third on the bars.