The Columbus North gymnastics team opened the season with a convincing win against visiting Bloomington North on Thursday night.

Columbus had the top three all-around finishers in the 109.2-94.925 victory against the Cougars. Ashley Holliday tied for first in the vault while taking first place in the beam and floor exercise. She also had a second-place finish in the bars on her way to winning the all-around competition with 37.225 points.

Claire Thompson finished behind her with 37.15 points after placing first in the bars and tying Holliday with with a 9.3 score in the vault. She also placed second in the beam and floor exercise.

North co-coach Bob Arthur was pleased with the way freshman Sami Heathcote performed in her first high school meet.

“This is new frontier for her, and she handled it with a third-place finish,” Arthur said. “Where we lost some talent last year, Sami is already starting to fill in the gap.”

Heathcote placed second in the vault and had third-place finishes in the bars, beam and floor exercise to earn her 34.825 third-place all-around points. The fourth-place all around gymnast was Bloomington’s Brittany Laffoon. Her fourth-place finishes in the bars, beam and floor exercise earned her 33.400 all-around points. Arthur was happy with the way his team performed but said they still have room for improvement.

“We did well, a 109 plus is a very good start,” Arthur said. “The bad news is we had a lot of mistakes, but the good news is that means we could score a lot higher if we can clean those things up.”

Arthur thinks that some of the mistakes were partly because of nerves. He is sure that the team will gain more endurance and confidence as the season goes on. Arthur said the goal moving forward is to to pick up the team score more than what it was against Bloomington North. The Bull Dogs may have to do so Monday when they go up against crosstown rival Columbus East, who posted a 109.30 on Tuesday against Franklin Central.

“If we focus on not just doing the skill but working on the execution of that skill we should be able to pick up a (10th of a point) here and there to pick our team score up by hopefully a couple of points,” Arthur said.

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.