2021 Champs Make Up for 2020's Lost Opportunities

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for MHSAA.com

March 27, 2021

ROCKFORD – Lizzie Maurer’s 2020 bid for an all-around gymnastics championship was cut short as the pandemic ended last season prematurely. 

The Grand Ledge senior had one more shot at achieving her goal at Saturday’s MHSAA Individual Finals at Rockford High School – and she made the most of it. 

Maurer claimed the Division 1 individual all-around championship with a total score of 37.450 across her four events.

She clipped Rockford sophomore Lacey Sheid, who finished with a 37.400.

Farmington United senior Sydney Schultz won the all-around in Division 2 with a score of 37.000, while Rockford’s Anna Tracey (35.775) placed runner-up.

Individual Gymnastics Finals 2

Maurer placed fourth in the Division 1 all-around two years ago and was looking forward to her final chance.

“Ever since my freshman year, my coach and I kind of knew that I had the potential to win,” Mauer said. “And after having that taken away from me last year with COVID and everything, I really wanted to come in this year and try my hardest to fight for that top spot.”

Maurer won three of the four events. She took top honors in the floor exercise by producing a career-best score (9.8) and also won vault (9.525) while tying Livonia Stevenson’s Autumn Wronikowski on the balance beam as both scored a 9.575. 

The beam gave Maurer troubles in the team competition Friday night, as she fell, but she redeemed herself in victorious fashion.

She also overcame a minor injury on her first rotation of the day.

“I had a pretty bad bar rotation and I injured my elbow, so we weren’t sure how I was going to do,” Maurer said. “It was a rough way to start the meet, but I’m really proud of how I did on everything.

“I stayed on the beam and won, and on floor I had my highest score in my gymnastics career. I hit my first 9.8 so that really got me motivated to do vault.”

Maurer knew she needed a high score in that final event.

“We were looking at other people’s scores and saw I needed that 9.5 to win,” she said. “I just really ran into that vault, and sticking it I think was the highlight because it was the end of my career and it’s what won the meet for me.”

Scheid topped the field in the beam with a score of 9.650 and was runner-up to Maurer in the floor exercise. 

“I was so happy with my bars,” Scheid said. “I have not hit a good bar routine in a while. I didn’t hit my feet on my bail and I almost stuck my double, so I was super proud of it.”

Individual Gymnastics Finals 3A tough beam effort prevented Scheid from overtaking Maurer.

“I’m a little disappointed because of my beam performance,” she said. “If I would’ve stayed on the beam I could’ve won, but that’s OK. I’m super proud of how I did and super proud of who won because she did an amazing job.” 

Scheid was making her debut appearance at the Finals.

“This was my first state meet because I had never done high school gymnastics, so my expectations were very low,” Scheid said. “I just wanted to get a feel of the environment and what to expect. My goal was to not win, it was to have fun and stay calm. I hope I can carry that throughout to senior year.”

Schultz notched high scores on the vault (9.450) and bars (9.225). She tied for third on floor (9.125).

“I just tried to take one event at a time,” Schultz said. “I was just trying to keep my cool, I guess.”

Schultz finished sixth in the all-around at the 2019 Finals.

“I was just happy that I kept a positive attitude through all of it,” Schultz said. “I have a hard time with that sometimes.”

Tracey, a junior, snagged the beam title with a score of 9.375. Jackson’s Addi Richmond won the Division 2 floor exercise with a 9.325.

Click for full Division 1 and Division 2 results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Grand Ledge's Lizzie Maurer performs her beam routine during Saturday's Division 1 Individual Finals. (Middle) Rockford/Sparta's Lacey Sheid performs her floor exercise routine. (Below) Farmington United's Sydney Schultz also performs on floor. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Performance of the Week: Escanaba's Sophia Wagner

December 8, 2023

Sophia WagnerSophia Wagner ♦ Escanaba
Senior ♦ Gymnastics

In just her team’s second competition this season, Wagner set program records with a 9.8 on floor exercise and 37.380 all-around to finish first in both at the Escanaba Elks Invitational. The floor exercise record topped the previous Escanaba-best 9.7 scored by current senior teammate Sophie Lehto last season.

Escanaba’s gymnastics program has made major statewide strides over the last half-decade, and Wagner reached the Finals podium last season tying for fifth on Division 2 balance beam with a score of 9.025 while also tying for 22nd on vault. The week before, Wagner helped lead Escanaba to a sixth-place Regional finish against a field that included the last two Finals team champions. She also played tennis and was part of the No. 3 doubles runner-up as Escanaba shared the Upper Peninsula Division 1 team title this fall, and she finished second in pole vault and ran on the seventh-place 400-meter relay in the spring as Escanaba finished third at the UPD1 Girls Track & Field Finals.

@mhsaasports 🤸POW: Sophia Wagner #gymnastics #letsgo #team #escanaba #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🤸POW: Sophia Wagner #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #simonebiles #gymnastics #letsgo #proposal #hearthands #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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Past 2023-24 Honorees

Dec. 1: Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

(Photos courtesy of Victory Video and Photography.)