Valparaiso Vikings Gymnasts capture sectional title in the presence of their gymnastics family

Valparaiso Vikings Gymnasts capture sectional title in the presence of their gymnastics family

It may have been sectionals for Northwest Indiana high school gymnastics, but it felt like a family reunion as schools cheered each other on from Chesterton, Crown Point, Hobart, Lake Central, La Porte, Merrillville, Michigan City, Morgan Township, New Prairie, Portage, Valparaiso, and Wheeler. 

Wheeler’s Sarah Mella has been a gymnast since she was six. She was motivated not just by her coaches, but by her friends in attendance as well. It was apparent from the yells of “Go Sarah!” echoing across the field house that despite being the solitaire gymnast from Wheeler, she was not alone.

“My friends and the team make me feel comfortable and motivate me,” said Mella. 

Many of her friends she has met through a gymnastics club she was in from an early age, making their support today extra meaningful. Mella would go on to take fifth in the uneven bars advancing her to regionals with a score of 9.300.

GYMNASTICS Sectionals 2021

GYMNASTICS Sectionals 2021 387 Photos
GYMNASTICS Sectionals 2021GYMNASTICS Sectionals 2021GYMNASTICS Sectionals 2021GYMNASTICS Sectionals 2021

Ysabel Maunes of Crown Point was rushed by her teammates in celebration when she earned a score in beam that would advance her to regionals. While beam is not her favorite, she credits her team and consistent hard work for her success.

“A lot of it is my team,” said Maunes. “I want to do it for them, not just myself.”

Valparaiso Seniors Jade VeSchure, Sabrina Falk, and Emma Lilly Moorehead have been in gymnastics together since the three were in sixth grade. All three in unison said their team is their motivation.

“They are our best friends,” said VerSchure. “We do it for each other.”

All three are advancing to regionals. The Vikings Gymnastics Team took first place overall with a score of 113.65 points. Much in part was thanks to Gabriella Grisafi who took second in vault with a score of 9.70, second in bars with 9.70, first in beam with 9.80, and first in floor with 9.650. Falk took sixth in vault with 9.6, and fourth in beam with 9.525.

Lake Central captured second place with 113.20 points, and Chesterton High school took third with 112.325 points. Both teams will advance to Regionals as well.

The following results summarize the first through sixth place finishers in the bars, vault, beam, and floor events. 


1st: Mia Pak (Chesterton) – 9.900 points

2nd: Gabriella Grisafi (Valparaiso) – 9.700 points

3rd: Cloe Amanatidis (Lake Central) – 9.500 points

4th: Caityln Cook (Chesterton) – 9.450 points 

5th: Sarah Mella (Wheeler) – 9.300 points 

6th: Madeline Buggs (Lake Central) – 9.275 points


1st: Mia Pak (Chesterton) – 9.775 points

2nd: Gabriella Grisafi (Valparaiso) – 9.700 points

Tied for 3rd: Hayleigh Delgado (Lake Central), Wrigley Barcelli (Portage) – 9.625 points

Tied for 4th: Madeline Bugg (Lake Central), Sabrina Falk (Valparaiso) – 9.600 points


1st: Gabriella Grisafi (Valparaiso) – 9.800 points 

2nd: Cloe Armanatidis (Lake Central) – 9.700 points 

3rd: Liliana Ventura-Sullivan (Lake Central) – 9.675 points 

Tied for 4th: Sabrina Falk (Valparaiso), Peyton Peele (Portage) – 9.525 points

5th: Caitlyn Cook (Chesterton) – 9.500 points 

1st: Gabriella Grisafi (Valparaiso) – 9.650 points 


2nd: Mia Pak (Chesterton) – 9.625 points 

3rd: Cloe Amanatidis (Lake Central) – 9.575 points

Tied for 4th: Peyton Peele (Portage), Shelby Conrad (Portage), Wrigley Barcelli (Portage), Hayleigh Delgado (Lake Central) – 9.500 points