Preview: Championship Opportunities Await Several 1st-Time Contenders
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 10, 2022
Jackson Area capped an exciting return of the Gymnastics Finals last season with its first team championship. We’ll see this weekend if that was the beginning of a trend.
Two of four Regional champions from last week – Livonia Red and Bloomfield Hills – will be seeking their first Team Finals championship Friday at White Lake Lakeland. Last season’s Division 1 and 2 individual champions both graduated, guaranteeing first-time winners Saturday as well.
Team competition begins at 4 p.m. Friday, with individual competition in both Divisions 1 and 2 beginning at noon Saturday. Tickets cost $11 each day and are available exclusively via GoFan.
Below is a glance at several of this weekend’s contenders. (Click for both days’ rotations.)
Bloomfield Hills: The Black Hawks finished fifth at last season’s Final and are trending upward. They won their Regional last weekend, scoring 139.925 to edge Farmington United by nine tenths of a point. That was the team’s highest score of the year after it previously set a season high in winning its league competition in mid-February.
Grand Ledge: The Comets finished third last season and are seeking their first Finals championship since concluding a run of six straight in 2013. They won their Regional with a statewide-best score of 147.125 and also won championships this winter at the Rockford, Kenowa Hills and Coldwater invitationals.
Livonia Red: Another Regional champion, Livonia Red (made up of gymnasts from Churchill and Franklin) set a team scoring record winning that meet with a 146.350 – the second-highest statewide last weekend. Red also finished second at the prestigious Canton Invitational, which is annually considered a preview of the MHSAA Finals, and won the Walled Lake Invitational.
Rockford: The Rams have been runners-up the last two seasons (2021 and 2019, with 2020’s Finals canceled because of COVID-19) and are seeking their first title since winning the third of three straight in 2017. They won the Canton Invitational and also were Regional champs scoring 143.700 last weekend.
Fowlerville/Byron/Pinckney/Chelsea: The lone Regional runner-up in this group, FBPC finished second to Grand Ledge with a score of 144.200 and defeated the Comets in their dual meet during the regular season. FBPC also won the 20-team Jeanne Carruss Memorial Invitational at the end of January.
Avery Boyk, Livonia Red senior: She’s an all-around contender again after finishing sixth last season with a tie for second on uneven parallel bars. She won her Regional all-around last week at 37.750 with firsts on balance beam (9.175) and bars (9.750).
Alyssa Budd, Jackson Area junior: Budd, a student at Napoleon, tied for ninth on beam and seventh on floor exercise last season. She won floor (9.675) in finishing second all-around at her Regional (36.075).
Madeleine Loomis, East Lansing senior: She finished 12th all-around last season and could be in for a big career finish after winning her Regional all-around at 37.825 with firsts on floor (9.650) and beam (9.600).
Morgan Ruffing, Livonia Red junior: She finished third all-around last season, paced by a tie for second on vault and solo seventh on bars. She won floor (9.800) at her Regional and was among the top four in all four events on the way to finishing second all-around (37.200).
Lacey Scheid, Rockford junior: She missed winning last season’s Division 1 all-around title by five hundredths of a point and took first on bars. She won vault (9.150) and balance beam (9.175) on the way to claiming last week’s Regional all-around title with a 36.825.
Bronwen Smith, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Unified junior: Smith, a student at Forest Hills Central, finished third all-around at her Regional with a 35.750 and a first on bars (9.025).
Emma Stewart, Salem junior: She’s a likely contender in her first season of high school gymnastics, placing third at her Regional with an all-around 36.850 thanks to a second on bars and two more third places.
Katie Stewart, Salem sophomore: Emma’s sister, Katie Stewart won vault (9.400) and was second on beam (9.075) in finishing fourth all-around (36.375) at the Regional.
Maeve Wright, Bloomfield Hills senior: She was fifth all-around last year with a third on floor and sixth on beam, and she won the Division 1 beam as a freshman. She won beam (9.350) and floor (9.600) last week on the way to finishing first all-around (36.850) at her Regional.
Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge junior: She tied for ninth on vault and was 22nd all-around in 2021, and could make a big jump Saturday. She finished first on vault (9.425) and bars (9.450) in taking second all-around (37.650) at her Regional.
Charlotte Calhoun, Coldwater sophomore: She finished third all-around at her Regional (35.200) with a win on bars (8.850).
Sydney Dunn, Canton sophomore: She was a Regional all-around runner-up (35.000) with top-five finishes on three apparatuses.
Joey Gair, Rockford senior: She tied for fourth on beam on the way to finishing 13th all-around at last season’s Finals, and she could move up coming off a fourth place all-around (35.025) at her Regional.
Courtney Jordan, Plymouth senior: She won bars (9.000) and floor (9.550) and tied for first on beam (9.100) in placing first all-around at her Regional with a 36.350.
Audrey Kane, Howell senior: She finished ninth on bars and tied for eighth on floor at last season’s Finals, and she could be an all-around contender after finishing third with a 36.000 at her Regional.
Sarah Litz, Fowlerville/Byron/Pinckney/Chelsea senior: She finished sixth all-around at her Regional last week (35.825) as the six qualifying scores were separated by only six tenths of a point. A student at Fowlerville, she was fifth all-around at last year’s Finals with top-nine finishes on vault, beam and floor.
Ivy McDonald, Lowell junior: A first on beam (9.300) helped her finish second all-around at her Regional (35.550). She took third on beam and finished 11th all-around at last year’s Finals.
Emma Olds, Grand Ledge senior: She enters off a Regional all-around championship (36.425) and first on bars (9.225). She tied for third on vault and fifth on floor and was 10th on bars in finishing sixth all-around at the 2021 Finals.
Kamini Playle, Farmington United senior: She was part of a team championship as a freshman in 2019 and could make a move individually after finishing 20th all-around last season. She was second all-around at last week’s Regional (35.725) with a first on floor (9.275) and three second places.
Addison Richmond, Jackson Area junior: Richmond, a student at Jackson, tied for ninth all-around at last season’s Finals with a first place on floor. She returns coming off a fifth-place Regional all-around finish (34.650).
Grace Spencer, Farmington United junior: A student at Farmington, Spencer won the all-around at last weekend’s Regional with a 36.000 and firsts on beam (9.250) and bars (8.975).
Maty Temrowski, Linden/Fenton/Lake Fenton senior: A student at Fenton, she tied for 14th on vault and also competed on beam at last year’s Finals. She could be in the all-around mix this time after placing second at her Regional (36.125).
Anna Tracey, Rockford senior: She was first on beam and second on floor in finishing second all-around at last season’s Finals. She returns coming off a Regional all-around championship (35.575) paced by second places on beam and bars.
PHOTO Livonia Red's Morgan Ruffing competes on balance beam during last season's Division 1 Individual Finals at Rockford High School. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Performance of the Week: Grand Ledge's Alaina Yaney
March 17, 2023
Alaina Yaney ♦ Grand Ledge
Senior ♦ Gymnastics
After finishing runner-up by just half a point as a junior, Yaney closed her high school gymnastics career Saturday with the Division 1 all-around championship, posting an all-around score of 38.075 and with first places on balance beam (9.475) and vault (9.700). She also tied for second on floor exercise (9.575) and finished third on uneven parallel bars (9.325). Her vault score tied for 16th-highest in Division 1 Finals competition all-time.
Not surprisingly, Yaney also was her Regional's all-around champion (37.550). She also helped Grand Ledge finish eighth in Friday's Team Final competition, with her 37.475 the highest all-around score that day, before the next afternoon becoming the eighth Comets gymnast to win the Finals' Division 1 individual championship. A gymnast since age 3, Yaney will continue academically at Central Michigan Univerrsity and is considering attempting to walk-on the gymnastics team.
@mhsaasports 🤸♀️POW: Alaina Yaney #performanceoftheweek #gymnast #allaround #beam #vault #firstplace #gymnastics #statechamp #champion #individual #record #grandledge #comets #congrats #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp @alaina_yaney ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
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PHOTO Grand Ledge's Alaina Yaney competes during Friday's Team Final at White Lake Lakeland. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)