Bull Dogs reach new heights in win

The Columbus North gymnasts are reaching uncharted waters — at least for this decade.

The third-ranked Bull Dogs put up a season-best score by nearly two full points Wednesday night in picking up a 112-825-109.7 Senior Night win against No. 7 Owen Valley.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” North co-coach Bob Arthur said. “This is a great team, and they’re putting it together at the right time.”

The Bull Dogs put up the state’s second-best score this season, despite three falls that cost them a half-point each. Without those falls, they would have eclipsed No. 1 Valparaiso for the state’s top score.

“That’s amazing to be able to go into the postseason with that kind of score,” Katrina May said. “We are peaking at the exact right time. We’re hoping to pull something out, maybe even win state this year.”

May led North with a second-place all-around finish with a personal-best 38.05. She won the bars (9.65) and floor (9.725) and finished third on the vault (9.55) and beam (9.125).

“It’s very exciting,” May said. “I’ve always wanted to get a 38. I didn’t know if it was possible, but even with a fall, I was able to get the score I wanted, so it was awesome.”

Claire Thompson finished third in the all-around with a 37.35. She won the bars (9.65) and finished second on the beam (9.575) and fourth on the vault (9.3).

Ashley Holliday took fourth in the all-around with a 37.275. She won the vault (9.6), finished third on the floor (9.625) and fourth on the bars (9.025) and tied with teammate Kaitlyn Barnes for fourth on the beam (9.025).

May (ankle), Thompson (back) and Barnes (hip) are all battling through injuries.

“We’ve had to be so patient with the amount of reps they could put in to actually fine-tune, and we’re still not there yet,” North co-coach Sandy Freshour said. “With being more healthy, we’ve been able to put the reps in that it takes. You go from a point of just being able to do the skills to actually being able to fine-tune the skills and work on those last little toe points and all the little things that make routines look awesome.”

Barnes was one of four seniors honored before the meet, joining Camber Anthony, Tristan Gregg and Lauren Steigerwalt.

“I have to give a lot of credit to our senior class,” Freshour said. “All four of those seniors are such good role models and good for the team. Their attitudes are good, and they work hard and have such good leadership for everybody, it’s inspiring.”

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