The past two gymnastics seasons, Ashley Holliday has been a phenom on the bars.
This year, the Columbus North junior has a more balanced all-around repertoire, and she’s hoping it carries through the rest of the season, beginning Tuesday when the second-ranked Bull Dogs host the Conference Indiana meet.
“Bars has always kind of stood out for me as my best event overall throughout my career, but this year, I feel like some of the other events have risen up to meet that level,” Holliday said.
As a freshman, Holliday was the state runner-up on the bars. She went a notch better last season, claiming the state title with a 9.6 on the event.
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But Holliday placed at state in only one other event last season, taking fourth on the vault with a 9.625. She was eighth in the all-around with a 37.5.
This season, Holliday has been rock solid in all four events, scoring at least a 9.6 in each. She is tied for the fourth-highest score in the state on the vault (9.6), is tied for fifth on the beam (9.6), ranks sixth on the bars (9.625) and is tied for 12th on the floor (9.6).
“I think her confidence is up on all the events, and she kind of realizes that she can do the same type of performance on all the pieces of equipment,” North co-coach Bob Arthur said.
In the all-around, Holliday ranks fifth with a 38.075. Senior teammate Katrina May, who also has the state’s top floor score (9.775), is second at 38.4; while Columbus East’s Adi Minor, who has the state’s top vault (9.7), bars (9.75) and beam (9.75) scores, is fourth in the all-around at 38.3.
The Bull Dogs’ other co-coach, Sandy Freshour, said Holliday has been working on her consistency and confidence.
“She’s done both of those very well this year,” Freshour said. “I think with Ashley, it’s just a matter of what she hits because she was certainly capable of being a state champion on any of the events last year. It’s just that bars was the event she hit the best.”
Holliday, who has pole vaulted for the North track and field team the past two years, has entertained thoughts about doing gymnastics in college — at least a little more than the past couple years. She’ll likely look into it a little more once this season is complete.
The Bull Dogs, who finished third as a team at state last year, have the state’s second-best team score this season, a 112.175. They hope to eclipse that mark on Tuesday and again in the tournament.
“I’m super excited for conference and also the postseason, because that’s really when the big meets start and the excitement happens,” Holliday said. “We still have some improvement to do, and some of our goals still need to be met, but I have high hopes for us.”
Conference Indiana gymnastics meet
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Columbus North High School auxiliary gym
Teams: Columbus North, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Franklin Central