Olympians seeking return trip to state

The Columbus East gymnasts have made back-to-back appearances in the state finals, and the Olympians are counting on this season ending in Ball State’s Worthen Arena once again in March.

“We expect them to be at state, and we expect them to by vying for the state title,” said Nancy Kirshman, who enters her 42nd year as East coach. “That’s how good they are.”

Not only do the Olympians return their top three competitors in sophomores Becca Bryan and Seena Greiwe and senior Jaycie Jaggers, they’ve added a Level 9 gymnast in freshman Adi Minor. Minor was a regional club qualifier for Victory Gymnastics Academy last winter.

“She’s a very accomplished gymnast,” Kirshman said. “She’s a very good addition to the team and a fine young lady. She brings spirit and laughter to our team.”

Bryan was the high school sectional and regional runner-up and finished 14th at state in the all-around last season. Greiwe, Jaggers and senior Olivia Frownfelter also return with varsity experience.

East has two other freshmen — Andrea Stattenfield and Erma Bruce — on its seven-member team. Bruce is from Sweden and has a rhythmic gymnastics and dance background.

“The nucleus of that group most likely is going to be Becca, Adi, Jaycie, Seena and Olivia,” Kirshman said. “Andrea will step in a couple of places. Erma is a very beginner gymnast.

“They’re working hard,” she said. “It’s a small group, but you don’t have to be big. If you have three girls that do everything and do it well, that’s all you have to have. They all train everything, so we can use anybody anywhere when it comes time.”

The Olympians finished third in their own sectional and seventh in their regional last season before taking eighth in the state finals. Jaggers said the big goal for this season is to place in the top four at state.

“I think we’re doing pretty good,” Jaggers said. “We’re just now starting to put routines together. We worked on parts really hard during the summer to try to get them the best we can, and now we’re starting to put them all together to get ready for our meets.”

“We’re all doing our skills, and they’re hitting pretty well,” Frownfelter said. “We want to try our best at every meet and practice hard every day.”

At a glance

The 2015 Columbus East gymnastics schedule:

Jan. 3;Seymour;10 a.m.

Jan. 12;at Columbus North;7 p.m.

Jan. 20;Martinsville;6:30 p.m.

Jan. 31;at Merrillville;1 p.m.

Feb. 4;Connersville;6:30 p.m.

Feb. 9;at Bloomington South;6:30 p.m.

Feb. 18;Owen Valley;6:30 p.m.

Feb. 24;at Bloomington North;6:30 p.m.

Feb. 28;at Roncalli;10 a.m.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.