Bull Dogs rule

A little case of the flu wasn’t about to stand in the way of Katrina May helping get her Columbus North team back to the Gymnastics State Finals.

Not only that, but the illness couldn’t even keep May from performing at or near her best. The junior captured the all-around competition with a 37.7 and led the Bull Dogs to the Columbus East Regional title.

“My stomach hurts, and my head was a little dizzy after bars,” May said. “I had to have a coach hold me up for a little while. Other than that, I’m just really tired. But this is regional, and I knew I had to come out for my team tonight, and I’m really glad I did.”

The second-ranked Bull Dogs finished with a 111.975. New Palestine (109.85) and No. 6 Owen Valley (108.575) claimed the other two state-qualifying team spots, while the host and No. 5 Olympians took fourth with a 105.85.

May, who said she threw up three times during the meet, won the beam with a 9.2 and finished third on the bars (9.525) and fourth on the floor (9.55). Sophomore teammate Ashley Holliday tied for first on the bars (9.55) and finished second on the vault (9.625).

“It was an all right meet — not my best, but it was still solid,” Holliday said. “I’m happy with how it ended. Although we had some difficulties in some places, we did well.”

North’s other two all-around gymnasts came away with ribbons, as well. Freshman Claire Thompson finished third on the beam (9.05) and fourth on the bars (9.45), and senior Kaitlyn Barnes took fifth on the beam (8.925).

“We had a great night,” May said. “All of our routines stuck, and I think we represented Columbus very well tonight.”

“We just keep pulling a little bit more together,” North co-coach Bob Arthur said. “The girls are getting confident. These girls are so good and so tight as a group.”

Although East didn’t make it as a team, one Olympian qualified as an individual. Sophomore Becca Bryan will make the trip in the all-around after finishing sixth with a 37.0.

“We definitely had the potential to go as a team, and I would have probably been more comfortable going as a team,” Bryan said. “But going as an individual it still makes me extremely overjoyed that I get to go and be in the all-around at state.”

Bryan won the floor (9.7) and finished third on the vault (9.575).

“I’m not sure where New Pal came out of the closet from because they scored 104 all year long, and then they make a two-point jump in their sectional, and now they make a (three)-point jump,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “But fair-and-square they beat us.”

The Olympians were missing top gymnast Adi Minor, who suffered a broken leg in the final regular-season meet. To make matters worse, Jaycie Jaggers was dealing with groin injuries.

“We didn’t have enough firepower,” Kirshman said. “Without Jaycie at full strength, and without Adi, you have to have at least two people who can score 9s all the way across.

“It’s a shame because this group of girls — all seven of them — have worked harder than probably any group I’ve ever had, so it’s disappointing for them in that respect,” she said. “But they’ll be back. We were just not meant to be there as a team this year.”

Seymour had one individual in the regional, and she qualified for the state finals. Junior Alyssa Goen claimed the sixth and final qualifying spot on the floor with a 9.45.

“I’m really excited,” Goen said. “It was tough competition, but I felt I was going to have fun, and I felt pretty positive about it.”

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