Rockford gymnastics team defends third state title

By John Raffel

Rockford’s gymnastics teams made it three straight state titles by taking first place on Friday at Plymouth Canton.

But it was very close. Rockford scored 145.300 points compared to 144.775 for second-place Canton.

“Friday was very exciting,” Rockford coach Alyssa Burke said. “It was close and we fought for every tenth of a point to help us clinch the title. The team score was a 145.3. Nicole and Carly Coughlin competed all-around for us and greatly helped the team with their solid performances on all four events.

“Ashley Faulkner also contributed greatly to the team score with her strong performances on bars, beam, and floor. Kaitie Killinger competed vault, bars, and beam for us. Her vault score especially greatly helped our team. Morgan Case had great performances on floor and vault that helped our team to their victory.”

Other competitors for Rockford on Friday night included Chantel Lokers, Reagan Ammon and Claire O’Neill.

“It was close and we didn’t know we had won it until the second-place finisher was announced,” Burke said. “It was extremely exciting for us, as we really had to work hard to grow as a team this year to get to where we were this weekend. With so many underclassmen, we worked hard to up our skills, clean up our routines, and learn how to compete under pressure. I am so proud of these girls, they came together as a team and did amazing things this weekend.”

Graduating seniors are Claire O’Neill, Carly Coughlin, Nicole Coughlin, Kaitie Killinger, Ally Faulkner and Danae Lokers.

Danae Lokers

Saturday was the individual tournament and Nicole Coughlin was third on vault, fifth on bars, second on floor, state champ on beam and second all-around.

Carly Coughlin was sixth on vault, third on beam, third on floor, and fifth all-around.

Ashley Faulkner was ninth on bars, ninth on beam and 10th all-around.

Chantel Lokers was third on beam and ninth all-around

Morgan Case was eighth on vault and second on floor

Other individual competitors included: Kaitie Killinger (all-around), Claire O’Neill (floor), and Reagan Ammon (all-around).