Baldwin gymnast Abby Rexrode savors 3rd WPIAL gymnastics title, eyes unprecedented 4th

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Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Much like the luminosity displayed by a three-carat diamond, Baldwin junior Abby Rexrode has had a brilliant three-year gymnastics career.

And she’s not finished just yet.

Rexrode won her third consecutive WPIAL all-around advanced division title in gymnastics Feb. 10 at Moon, taking first place in three of four events.

“It feels amazing to be able to accomplish this again because it is something I’ve been working for all season,” she said. “When I heard I won, I was very happy and proud. I had some of my best routines, although I did have a fall on beam.

“I feel I have gotten stronger and better since my freshman season. My routines have gotten cleaner and have improved. A fourth WPIAL title is my goal for next year. I’m thinking about working hard over the summer leading up to the season in order to prepare.”

Baldwin coach Jodi Cummings indicated that all the hard work put in by Rexrode this past year paid off handsomely at the WPIAL meet.

“Abby had an outstanding performance at the WPIAL championships,” said Cummings, who also coaches the TJ gymnasts. “She has worked hard all year to defend her title and she did just that. We have worked on cleaning up routines and maxing out Abby’s start value in her routines. She has also worked on improving her vault.

“Abby is a team player. She cares about her teammates and is always cheering them on. Her positive attitude helps our team be successful physically and mentally.”

Rexrode is the fourth gymnast to win three straight WPIAL titles. She joins Hopewell’s Kelly Burak (2010-12) and North Allegheny’s Jamie Davic (1993-95) and Angie Evans (1986-88) as three-time winners and will have a chance at an unprecedented fourth championship next year.

“This was a great season, and I am excited for the next,” Rexrode said. “I have a great team and coaches who have helped me so much.”

Rexrode won the vault, bars and floor events and ended up eighth on the balance beam.

“The beam is still my best and favorite event,” she said. “I enjoy doing beam, and I have worked a lot on making my skills better.”

Rexrode won the vault with a 9.775 and the bars and floor with a pair of 9.70s, finishing with an all-around point-total of 38.175.

Mt. Pleasant’s Olivia Kovach was the runner-up with a 37.45. Kovach took first place on beam and second on bars.

Rexrode captured last year’s championship with 38.225 points thanks to first-place finishes on the bars (9.525) and beam (9.650) and seconds on the floor (9.600) and vault (9.450).

As a freshman, Rexrode attained a 37.775 all-around score. She won the beam and placed second on floor.

Baldwin ended up third in the WPIAL team scoring behind Pine-Richland and Moon.

“The team had a fantastic showing at the WPIAL meet,” Cummings said. “We missed second by two-tenths. These girls gave it their all and that’s all I can ask for. Just do your best and that’s all you can control.”

This year’s team was comprised of seniors Ashley Brown and Katie O’Neill, juniors Annabelle Herrle, Sophia Rossa and Rexrode, sophomores Ally Schwab, Carly Dowhy, Lily Rock, Ella Scurry, Aliya Blount, Vivien Skatos and Jewells Stevens, along with freshman Gabby Shipley and Charlotte Fauls.

“The team did really well this season,” Rexrode said. “We became more consistent throughout the season and began to score higher.”

Herrle placed eighth in the advanced all-around scoring with a 36.175, topping her 35.75 at last year’s WPIAL meet. She placed sixth on the floor and seventh on the beam.

Rossa finished 12th all-around in the advanced division with a 35.625 score, securing fifth place on the beam and seventh on the floor.

Brown, Stevens, O’Neill and Shipley competed in the intermediate I division and racked up all-around scores of 34.05, 33.825, 33.475 and 33.325, respectively.

Stevens captured fourth on the bars, Brown finished sixth on beam and seventh on floor and Shipley took sixth on bars.

Five Baldwin girls advanced to the WPIAL finals as intermediate II competitors: Scurry, Fauls, Skatos, Blount and Schwab. Scurry was runner-up on the bars and 15th all-around.

Baldwin’s gymnasts also finished third in the gold division at the Pennsylvania Classic on Feb. 16-17 at Moon.

Rexrode won her second all-around state championship, taking first on the bars, second on beam and floor and fourth on vault, totaling 38.3 points.

“I’m in shock because the competition was really great,” Rexrode said. “I put in work and ended the season really well. I feel super accomplished to be able to win it this year.”

Rossa and Herrle reeled in sixth and ninth, respectively, on the beam.

Turning to the gold division, Brown placed third all-around after securing first on floor, third on beam and fourth on vault.

Shipley won the beam and claimed sixth on bars while O’Neill garnered ninth place on the beam.

Scurry placed third on bars and sixth all-around in the silver division. Fauls and Skatos ended up eighth and ninth on bars.

Also, in the bronze division, Dowhy captured sixth place on the floor.

TJ wins state title

Thomas Jefferson, with only five gymnasts on its team, won the silver division state championship at the Pennsylvania Classic.

Individually, senior Addison Arndt placed fourth on the beam and sixth all-around in the diamond division.

Sophomore Riley Barna earned fourth on bars and sixth all-around as a gold division competitor. And sophomore Nicole Parsons placed ninth on beam.

Karlie Enick and Kelsey Kontz, both juniors, rounded out the squad.

TJ’s top gymnast at the WPIAL finals was Arndt, who finished ninth all-around in the advanced division with a 36.075, racking up fourth on beam and 10th on floor.

Barna and Enick competed in the intermediate I and II divisions.

Barna secured third on the bars and fifth all-around; Enick ended up sixth on floor.

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