Consistently Strong in Every Event, Ruffing Proves Best All-Around

By Tim Robinson
Special for Second Half

March 12, 2022

WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP — Talk about a surprise.

Morgan Ruffing of the Livonia Red co-op team knew her all-around score, and sat patiently during the awards ceremony at Saturday’s individual gymnastics championship meet at Lakeland High School.

“I was like, ‘They haven’t gotten to my score yet,’” she said. “And then they called the second-place score, and I was like, ‘There’s no way.’”

As it turned out, that was the way. Ruffing had won the Division 1 all-around title.

“I was in disbelief the whole time,” she said of her standing atop the medal stand. “I couldn’t believe this was happening. 

Ruffing didn’t win an event, but finished among the top five in each of the four events to total a score of 37.525, a half-point ahead of Grand Ledge’s Alaina Yaney, who was second. 

Yaney won the vault but slipped to second with a tie for eighth in the floor exercise. 

Lacey Scheid of Rockford, last year’s runner-up, won the floor exercise and the balance beam, but finished well out of the top 10 in the parallel bars, which sent her to third all-around. 

It was the beam where Ruffing was able to come back from a disappointing performance in Friday’s team meet when she fell attempting a wolf three-quarter turn.

Rockford gymnastics“The pressure got to her,” Livonia Red coach Mandy Brown said. “It was her last event (Friday) and it came down to her routine. (Saturday), I switched it up and had her starting toward the beginning of the beam lineup so she didn’t feel as much pressure.”

A little intentional amnesia didn’t hurt, either.

“Yeah,” Ruffing said, chuckling at the use of “amnesia.” “I just wanted to focus on one event at a time. If I mess up one event, then just forget about it and go on with my next event.”

Ruffing hit the wolf three-quarter in Saturday’s individual meet. She was fourth in the vault (9.425), fifth on the bars (9.150), fourth on the beam (9.3) and second on the floor (9.65).

Consistency won the day, even if it came as a surprise to the winner.

“My goal, coming in, was top three,” Ruffing said. “I didn’t know (winning) was going to happen. I was totally caught off guard.”

Instead, she moved from third last year to a title that was a most pleasant surprise.

Yaney, who went in expecting to contend for the title, also finished fourth on bars and third on beam on the way to her runner-up all-around score.

“I was hoping for first,” she said. “But second is OK.”

All three top finishers are juniors, which could make the 2023 Finals very interesting, indeed. 

Ruffing’s teammate, Avery Boyk, was the other individual event winner, taking first in the parallel bars. 

In Division 2, Rockford’s Anna Tracey won the all-around with a 36.325 score while taking first on beam and second on bars.

Lydia Beaton of Grand Ledge (36.150) was second all-around, taking first on vault and floor. Howell’s Maria Petru won the Division 2 bars.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Livonia Red’s Morgan Ruffing performs here beam routine during Saturday’s Individual Finals at White Lake Lakeland. (Middle) Rockford’s Anna Tracey completes her floor routine. (Click for more from

Title IX at 50: Anna Tracey's Story

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 20, 2022

Tracey finished her senior gymnastics season this past winter with one of the most successful Finals weekends possible. On Friday, she helped Rockford to its first team championship since 2017. At Saturday’s Individual Finals, Tracey earned the Division 2 title with an all-around score of 36.325.

The Rockford standout previously had helped the Rams to runner-up team gymnastics finishes in 2019 and 2021, and had placed second individually in Division 2 as a junior as well. She also ran cross country and track during her high school career, including at MHSAA Cross Country Finals as both a sophomore and senior. She’s continuing at Michigan State University, where she’s studying human biology with a minor in Spanish.

"I'm really thankful we live in a time where women have the same opportunities to compete in athletics, because sports has shaped me into the person I am today – a competitive, driven and disciplined person. The lessons I've learned from competing are irreplaceable, and I just couldn't imagine who I'd be without sports present in my life. The lessons I've learned and the characteristics I've developed played a huge role in my daily life and will continue to play a role in the future with whatever obstacles come my way.

"And I think the opportunity to compete as a female athletes is more than just winning medals and trophies. To me it's more the opportunity to learn valuable lessons and shape yourself into the person you want to be."

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

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