Hudson gymnasts beat two Valley Division rivals

Published:

Staff report

The Hudson gymnastics team did not have a memorable performance Dec. 20 on its home floor.

And surprisingly enough, the Lady Explorers are still unbeaten.

Hudson improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after earning victories over Strongsville and North Royalton at Flytz Gymnastics in Cuyahoga Falls.

The Lady Explorers finished with 136.05 points. Strongsville was next with 135.95 points and North Royalton scored 134.95 points.

"Can't get any closer than that one and honestly, I was fairly certain we lost," Hudson head coach Randi Chepke said.

"We tanked on balance beam, we dumped a few floor routines and had a so-so bar rotation.

"When the results were announced, we were a tad shocked."

Logan Custer led the Lady Explorers with a third-place all-around score of 34.35.

North Royalton's Paige Cugini won the all-around title with a score of 35.8 and Strongsville's Nicole Pratt finished second (35.8).

Custer won the floor exercise (9.05) and took second on the balance beam (8.85).

Teammate Mackenzie Miller added a first on the uneven bars (9) and teammate Teghan Piper finished third (8.8).

"Kudos to Logan, who saw every teammate before her struggle on beam," Chepke said. "Then she steps up and delivers the clutch performance we needed. She had a great night. Her floor ex was stellar, her vault was executed well and even bars, where she fell, still managed to be a contributing factor.

I've had tough competitors in the past, but Logan ranks up there with the best of them."

Also faring well for the Lady Explorers was Jenni Spencer, who finished eighth with a score of 8.8 on vault.

"Luckily, the girls in our vault lineup hit and pulled us back from the brink of what couldn't have been a disastrous night," Chepke said. "Freshman Jenni Spencer hit a big tsukahara to score our highest number that night."

Despite the victories, Chepke is concerned about the beam.

"We hit the gym the following day and did a two-hour beam rotation, stressing balance drills, dance connections and the like," she said. "The girls have no problems pulling off the tumbling passes. It's the little things they tend to lose sight of. Well, if coach Jeni [Barrick] and I have anything to do with it, we won't ever witness nine falls again this season.

"Obviously, we're happy to remain undefeated, but we will see Strongsville again in two weeks so we've got a lot of work to do. They had an off night as well, so it will be a real matchup when we meet again."

Hudson is scheduled to host Valley Division rival Medina Dec. 27 at 7 p.m.

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