GRAND LEDGE – The Comet gymnastics program has a reputation for exceeding expectations and setting records.
No other team has ever won six consecutive state titles except the Comets.
On March 7, standout Rachel Hogan received the first-ever perfect score of 10.0 at a regional meet.
Six days later the team notched another historic accomplishment, becoming the first wild card qualifier to finish in the top five at the state championship.
The Comets were considered underdogs and surprised the field by placing third place with a team total of 141.75.
Rockford won the state title with a score of 147.975, followed by Canton with 146.225.
The Comets started strong with floor and vault as their first two rotations, but the highlight of the day was their final rotation on beam.
All five of the Comet competitors performed clean beam routines — not a single fall.
After a mistake-filled regional performance nearly left them as spectators, Head Coach Duane Haring knew that it would take a week of focused practice to make the best of their second chance in the state finals.
The girls did not disappoint him — or themselves.
Haring was pleased with how the team responded on all of the events, especially on beam where they had frequently struggled.
Three Grand Ledge gymnasts qualified for the individual portion of the competition held on March 14.
In Division 2, Afton LaFrance competed on floor, and Tiana Seville competed all-around. Seville finished third, highlighted by a third place score of 9.20 on vault.
Rachel Hogan also qualified for all-around in the more difficult Division 1, also finishing in third with first place performances on vault (9.80) and floor (9.70).
Sophomore Ireland Bebee was the Comet recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.