Ruger Honored, Devils Close Season at IHSSA State Finals

Richmond’s girls gymnastics team competed at the 50th annual IHSAA State Finals on March 12 in Muncie.

The Red Devils finished sixth in the state as a team, while Liz Ruger (4th), Kinsey Bosell (14th), and Ella Rader (23rd) all finished in the top 25 in the all-around competition.

Meanwhile, Ruger earned the distinction of winning the meet’s coveted Mental Attitude award.

“I’m really happy about that,” Ruger said. “The whole thing is just to have fun and not to take it too seriously. It’s my favorite thing to meet new people and make new friends. 

“I feel like I was just myself for four years. Having good sportsmanship was always one of my biggest goals. I’m happy that it worked out.”

The meet marked the end of a decorated career for Ruger, who claimed the all-around state title in 2020 as a sophomore.

“It doesn’t feel real,” Ruger said of her time as a gymnast coming to an end. “I’ve spent 10 years of my life doing this. Now, it’s over. It happened so fast. I don’t think it’s hit me that I’ll never do gymnastics again.”

Ruger finished in a tie for fourth in the all-around with a score of 37.575. She finished third in vault.

“I know that I did my best,” she said. “I still feel I could have done better. I didn’t have my greatest day, but I’m grateful to have been able to compete even with my injuries.”

The day marked the celebration of the 50th anniversary of gymnastics as an IHSAA tournament sport. Prior to the meet, past all-around champions, including Ruger, were honored and posed for a picture.

The meet also capped the end of another incredibly successful season for the Devils, who earned their fifth straight sectional title and had an impressive finish at the finals. Ruger said she will miss all of those times with her teammates.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of those girls,” Ruger said. “We’ve been friends for years and not just because of gymnastics. They’re like my family.”