Carpenter wraps up career at gymnastics state finals

Mar. 11—MUNCIE — As a freshman, Lapel's Myleigh Carpenter competed alongside her older sister Madi and cheered her on as she watched the senior make it to the gymnastics state finals.

Now a senior herself, Myleigh Carpenter was able to duplicate her sister's accomplishment in a true family affair.

"It is special," the young Carpenter said. "We both have that shared experience."

"We talked as a family," her coach and mother Misty Carpenter said. "(They) both got to do the sport they love their whole life and represent their school at the state finals. It's a sport that not many schools around here have, and it's really special."

In fact, Carpenter competed as a team of one this season and excelled, particularly in the floor exercise in the postseason. She placed sixth at the Franklin Central sectional Feb. 23 when she scored a 9.375 on the floor. She bettered that a week later in the same gym at regional with a score of 9.550, also a high school career high.

"It was super exciting," Myleigh Carpenter said. "It was my highest score since my freshman year, and I couldn't have done it without the support of my family."

That score met the state standard, meaning even if Carpenter had not placed in the top six to advance, she would have qualified for the state meet at Worthen Arena on her score alone.

It was an emotional second time around for Coach Carpenter as she watched a second daughter fulfill a career goal.

"I was so excited," Coach Carpenter said of her daughter's score. "She had set this goal for herself and made it. We made some changes so she could get those bonuses. High school scoring is so different from club judging."

The performance at state, however, did not go as well as Carpenter would have liked. Perhaps overwhelmed by nerves, an early bobble proved costly and she finished with a score of 8.075, well below the scores she posted earlier in the tournament.

The winner was Elsie Kiran of Crown Point, who took the title with a 9.550, matching Carpenter's score from regional.

"I fell on the first pass," she said. "It was kind of nerve wracking. That's how gymnastics goes sometimes."

Her coach was appreciative of the way the school and the community supported Carpenter in the run up to the finals. She was given a police escort and received a send off from the schools where students held up signs of support. Many Lapel residents were at Worthen Arena for the finals.

"I think the nerves got to her," Coach Carpenter said. "She had so many there supporting her from the town."

Carpenter plans to attend Ivy Tech after graduating from Lapel and study sonography. While her athletic career has come to an end, she has also been helping coach 7- to 12-year-olds and will continue to do so for her mom's club, MEKS Gymnastics Academy.

Contact Rob Hunt at or 765-640-4886.