GYMNASTS FINDING MUCH TO BE GAINED
Ink Free News / Sports on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
WARSAW – Father time has snuck up on a lot of gymnasts this season. Timelines were much of the discussion Tuesday night after the gymnastics contest won by Wawasee over host Warsaw and a handful of individuals at the Whitman Group in downtown Warsaw.
Wawasee’s 94.975-91.525 team win over Warsaw showed some progress for both clubs. Peru, NorthWood and North Miami also had individuals participate in the meet. As the season seems like it just began, both K-County teams along with the individuals all seemed to be in scramble mode as deadlines are approaching.
“We’re still looking for that third score,” said Wawasee head coach Nika Prather. “Warsaw only had three tonight and they placed two in the all-around. If we want to go anywhere, we have to get a third score out of someone. It makes all the difference. You can have three girls, like Warsaw has, and if they all hit their scores, they can beat a team with seven or 10 kids. We’re still trying to get the younger girls to understand that.”
Wawasee had the top score of the night in all five categories from Aundreya Wegener. The senior posted 8.65 on vault to tie Warsaw’s Daylen Turner, then solely claimed bars at 7.6, a souped-up beam routine at 9.15 and a 9.25 on the floor. Her all-around tab of 34.65 was by far the top showcase of the night.
Prather saw Olivia Ousley step forward and offer a second score in three of the four categories. Ousley was second in the meet with her 8.175 on beam and fourth on floor at 8.0. Her 8.35 on vault was second on the team. Talia Kuhl was third in scoring with a 7.025 on bars and was fourth in the standings on all-around at 30.575.
“It’s crazy to think we are almost to February already, and our tournaments are in February,” noted Prather. The Lakeland Invite is Feb. 8, generally regarded as the midpoint of the season, and the Wawasee Sectional is Feb. 29.“I keep thinking well we have time. Well, we do but we don’t. We have to start throwing our sectional level routines within the next couple weeks. Our girls are capable, but we have had a lot of head games that have stood in our way of progressing.”
Warsaw, with its three athletes suited up, kept pace the best it could. Turner’s tie with Wegener on vault was its only topper, but the meet had Turner and Sydni Purvis pepper the top three. Turner was second on floor at 8.45 and third on bars at 7.025. Purvis was second on vault at 8.5 and bars at 7.225, and third on beam at 7.475 and floor at 8.4. Purvis would compile a 31.6 and Turner a 31.325 in all-around.
“With each meet and each practice, their confidence is getting better,” stated Warsaw head coach Tonya Douglass. “Beam is probably our weakest event right now. We practice it very well, but we’re not competing on it very well right now. I’m just trying to build the girls up on there, because if they can hit the beam, that will go for everything else.”
NorthWood’s Emilee Conrad hung a 27.1 in all-around, boosted by a 7.65 on vault, hitting a clean second flight over the horse. North Miami’s Madelyn See battled an injured back to score a 29.4 all-around, running second on vault at 8.55 and fourth on beam at 7.425.
“We just need to build the skills for sectionals, that is the ultimate goal,” Douglass said. “Each meet we are trying to do just a little bit more. We’re trying to be clean. We obviously don’t want to throw something ugly just to throw it. Ultimately, if we can compete confidently, our team score and individual scores will reflect that.”
Wawasee will compete Thursday at Lakeland while Warsaw is off until the Lakeland Invite.