No Question, Farmington #1 for 2018-19

March 8, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

ROCKFORD – Chasing last season’s MHSAA gymnastics championship may have been a bit more exciting for Farmington United.

But repeating at Friday night’s Team Final put the finishing touch on a dominating run that left no doubt which was the state’s best again this winter.

Compared to 2018, when Farmington ended Rockford’s three-season hold on the title and the top three teams were separated by three tenths of a point, this finish was a bit more comfortable.

Farmington – which won all of its meets this season – clinched the title this time with a score of 145.550, 1.3 points better than the runner-up Rams.

“It was actually more fun this year because we didn’t feel (like) as much of an underdog,” Farmington senior Kacey Noseworthy said. “We were coming in here confident, and we could believe it. But there was more pressure knowing that we kinda were expected to win.”

Farmington United – made up of gymnasts from Farmington High, North Farmington and Farmington Hills Harrison – posted the Final’s highest scores in the vault (37.700), the second highest on floor exercise (37.575), tied for the second-highest on balance beam (35.500) and then third highest on uneven parallel bars (34.775). After Rockford/Sparta, the next closest team was more than three points off the lead.

The margin was slimmer after Farmington finished its second rotation of the afternoon. But vault provided an opportunity to make a move – and longtime coach Jeff Dwyer’s gymnasts let their best fly.

Junior Elena Vargo threw a vault with a max score of 10.0, and she scored 9.80. Sophomore Sydney Schultz went with a vault she learned just two weeks ago with a max of 9.80, and she posted a 9.50.

“Vault is kinda a wild card. It’s one you sometimes hit and sometimes don’t,” said senior Ava Farquhar, who posted a 9.050 on the apparatus. “It’s hard, depending on the situation, the gym and the equipment. Going in, we all just tried our best. Warm-ups turned out pretty well, so we got a little excited.”

Vargo, a favorite in Saturday’s Division 1 individual competition, finished with the Team Final’s highest all-around score, 37.825. Noseworthy, a likely contender in Division 2, posted an all-around 35.775. Farquhar, Schultz, senior Shelby Smith, sophomore Allison Schultz and freshman Kamini Playle also contributed at least one score. Four of those seven also contributed to the winning team score in 2018.

“You’ve gotta have a pretty unique group of girls who can do it two years in a row,” Dwyer said. “And you can sense that, how they compete and how they work out in the gym. So I knew we had a shot again this year. But these (Finals) are hard to win.”

Plymouth followed Rockford/Sparta in third place, an improvement of three places from a year ago. First-time Finals qualifier Fowlerville finished fourth, and Livonia Blue edged Northville to round out the top five.

Reigning Division 1 individual champion Cate Gagnier of Grosse Pointe United, a sophomore, scored an all-around 36.400, as did Rockford/Sparta senior Reagan Ammon. Rams junior Morgan Case scored a 36.350, and Livonia Blue sophomore Makenna Fedrigo posted a 36.300 all-around.

Rockford/Sparta did post then highest scores on bars (35.075), beam (36.025) and floor (37.600) but only the seventh-highest on vault (35.550), 2.15 off Farmington's score on that apparatus.

“Farmington’s been like steady beating us the whole year, so we kinda thought we would get second with maybe a tiny chance at first,” said Case, a contributor on the 2017 championship team and last year’s runner-up as well. “But we’re really happy with what we did.”

The Individual Finals in both divisions begin at noon Saturday, and in addition to the championship Farmington United also might have won Dwyer his first good night’s sleep in a few days.

He said he hadn’t slept for three nights heading into Friday’s competition. But his gymnasts stepped up to the pressure of being the favorites with a perfect season on the line, taking the pressure off with an opportunity to sweep the individual titles up next.  

“I think it just shows a testament, one, to our coaches; and two, to the family that we’ve made,” Farquhar said. “This sport is about making friendship, and your team really is a big part of it because it’s so mental. And I think our team put together a great team this year.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Farmington United gymnasts celebrate repeating as MHSAA Finals champions Friday. (Middle) Farmington teammates watch as Elena Vargo performs her bars routine. (Below) Rockford's Reagan Ammon takes her turn on floor. 

Performance of the Week: North Farmington's Leah Hodge

March 14, 2024

Leah Hodge headshotLeah Hodge ♦ North Farmington
Junior ♦ Gymnastics

Hodge, coming off a dominating Division 1 Regional win the week before, finished the season with another memorable weekend helping Farmington United to a runner-up finish at Friday’s Team Final before clinching the Division 1 individual championship Saturday with an all-around score of 38.000.

A gymnast since she was 6 years old, Hodge scored a meet-high 37.950 all-around Friday as Farmington United finished second, just two tenths of a point off the lead, and her Saturday performance included a championship on uneven parallel bars (9.55), runner-up finish on vault (9.50), fourth place on balance beam (9.425) and sixth place on floor exercise (9.525) – despite her injuring an ankle midway through the meet. Farmington United is a cooperative program with athletes from North Farmington and Farmington high schools. 

@mhsaasports 🤸POW: Leah Hodge #gymnastics #individual #champion #letsgo #farmingtonunited #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🤸POW: Leah Hodge #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #simonebiles #sourpatchkids #drake #olives #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.'s "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

Past 2023-24 Honorees

March 8: Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
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

PHOTO Farmington United's Leah Hodge competes during the floor exercise Saturday at Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)