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. • • •
Rockford Gymnastics Team
by JANE NOFFSINGER The Rockford gymnastics team hosted the annual Flip Flop Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 9. The event brought 17 teams to compete in four rotations, showcasing both Division I and Division II talent. Rockford Orange placed fifth with an overall score of 137.275. Senior Ali VanBelkum took the Division II floor event with a score of 9.35 and placed third in the Division II all-around. Seniors Kelsey Donely and Morgan Paavola shined on the floor exercise with a 9.125 and 8.55, respectively. Sophomore Jenelle Miller earned her highest beam score of the season with a 8.9. The girls from Farmington won the team championship with a score of 145.15, with Canton Red in second, scoring 139.70. The team would like to thank Rockford Athletic Director Tim Erickson and the Rockford baseball team. The tear-down and setup of the gym for an event of this size is a huge undertaking. The Rams’ next gymnastics meet is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 16, for the Sturgis Invitational, beginning at 10 a.m.