WAWASEE GYMNASTICS: WHAT’S IN A NUMBER
StaceyPageOnline / Sports on Tuesday, January 23, 2018
WARSAW – As Warsaw gymnastics assistant coach Megan Kammerer read the team scores from Tuesday night’s dual against Wawasee, the Tiger gymnasts pumped their fists in triumph and Wawasee sat in silence. The caveat, Wawasee won the meet 103.25-100.525.
Much to do about the difference in reaction was how each team arrived at its scores.
It wasn’t Wawasee’s cleanest meet of the season, not even close, shuttered head coach Nika Prather. A myriad of falls, misses on connections and missed skills had Prather at one point standing in the corner of the Whitman Group warehouse with her hand over her mouth in stunned silence.
“Some of the skills we tried tonight are new, and it’s likely at some point or another they are going to miss something or make a mistake,” Prather said. “We have to give them a try. We have to get them into a meet. But some of them were just downright horrible mistakes. On floor, very uncharacteristic things like missing easy things and then making up part of their routines.”
Wawasee, which is expected to contend for the sectional title in March, has hovered in the 102-103 point range all season. Getting there again Tuesday saw Reagan Atwood take three of the four top spots in the disciplines, scoring 9.575 on beam, 9.375 on floor and tying Warsaw’s Remi Beckham at 8.575 on vault despite falling on both of her attempts. Atwood closed with a 35.675 all-around score, tops in the warehouse.
Jada Parzygnot added Wawasee’s other event win, a very nice 8.825 on her bars routine that showed noticeable improvement from a week ago. Parzygnot finished at 34.2 and third in all-around, her lag coming on two falls on what was shaping up to be a very beautiful beam routine and a couple missed connectors on her 8.85 floor exercise.
“There isn’t an Olympian or college gymnast alive who is happy with a 9.5, not one,” Prather said. “I’m not happy with a 9.5 if you can get one and are happy just aiming for that. I don’t want my girls to be happy thinking that’s OK. If you are here, you have to start doing something to get higher. We have to throw something else into the mix to get these scores up because these won’t cut it at the Lakeland Invite and going further to the sectional.”
Warsaw, on the other hand, has been setting smaller goals and slowly achieving them. Coach Tonya Douglass noted early in the season the team wanted to get to 100 points and stay there, and for the second time this season, they got to the century mark. Remi Beckham was second in her other three events, scoring 8.7 on bars, 9.0 on a smooth no-fall beam routine and 8.875 floor run. The junior ace scored 35.15 to keep pace with Atwood for top meet honors.
“We are just taking things one meet at a time,” Douglass said. “This is our first home meet in a couple weeks and so we’re trying to get back into the rhythm where we usually do a lot better here like most teams do at home. We are setting our own goals and trying to make those. Our ultimate goal right now is to get into the top three at sectional. Right now, if it happens, it happens. We just have to stay realistic on what we can do and go from there.”
Daylen Turner performed well for the Tigers, scoring an 8.725 as did Adree Beckham on floor, and posted an 8.275 on beam and 8.425 on vault. Anna Wainscott also placed top-five on bars with a 7.7.
“This year, we are getting more confident on beam, which is what killed us last year,” Douglass said. “As a team, we are just building confidence. Once we get there, then we can throw in the new skills. I’m proud of the steps they are taking on beam.
“They are definitely shining on floor and we love to end there because then we can just go all-out,” continued Douglass. “Overall, I’m very pleased with where we are at at this point of the season and I’m just looking to keep us injury free and keep us healthy heading into the sectional.”
Wawasee visits Lakeland Thursday while Warsaw will host Marion and Peru next Wednesday.