by JANE NOFFSINGER
The Rockford gymnastics team hosted the OK conference meet Saturday, Feb. 20 at Rockford High School.
Six teams competed for the honor of OK conference champions in a display of huge talent and determination. Both Division I and Division II gymnasts competed side by side for the title.
Mona Shores came away the title winners with an overall score of 144.42. Rockford followed in second place with 139.825, with Kenowa Hills rounding out the top three with 139.4.
Rockford senior Ali VanBelkum placed in each event, taking second on the beam with a beautiful routine that earned a 9.35. Although the beam proved to be the most difficult event of the day, the gymnasts showed their strong character by jumping back on the beam and scoring well under pressure. Sophomore Jenelle Miller had a perfect routine and scored an impressive 8.875. Senior Emily Noffsinger struggled with a fall, but still scored a respectable 8.575. Junior Katie Palmisano also scored well with an 8.25.
On the uneven bars, freshman Colleen Conroy was the high scorer with an 8.8. The freshman gymnast’s routine showcased two giants. The giants demonstrated the gymnast’s strength by completely circling the high bar, while maintaining a continuous flow of motion.
On the floor exercise, VanBelkum led with a 9.5. Senior Kelsey Donley scored 8.9, with Noffsinger scoring 8.75. Miller’s floor exercise was excellent with a score of 8.7. Senior Kaylie Newville’s floor exercise, always entertaining, earned an 8.5.
On the vault, VanBelkum and Donley led the group with scores of 9.0 and 8.7 respectively. Sophomore Casey Buelken had a strong run that earned an 8.6.
Noffsinger and VanBelkum were both honored by being nominated for All Conference. Donley took Honorable Mention.
Next up for the gymnasts is the regional competition to be held at Kenowa Hills on March 6, with the state finals being held at Rockford on March 12 and 13.
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