Bull Dogs, Olympians thinking about return to state

The Columbus North and Columbus East gymnasts have one more hurdle to clear before preparing for next week’s state finals.

The second-ranked Bull Dogs and fourth-ranked Olympians appear to be solid bets to return to Muncie, along with No. 5 Bloomington South. Those three teams will be joined by unranked New Palestine, Richmond and Connersville in Friday night’s Columbus East Regional.

“Barring any unforseen things, we hope that we’ll be in the same position,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “With the couple tweaks of injuries that we’re battling, we feel another whole week this week and another whole week (next week) puts us right back where we need to be.”

The Olympians’ No. 2 gymnast, Seena Greiwe, slightly hyperextended an elbow doing her floor routine in Friday’s East Sectional. Their top gymnast, Adi Minor is recovering from a sprained ankle and competed only on the bars in the sectional.

How much Minor will be able to do this week remains to be seen.

“We know she’ll do bars for sure,” Kirshman said. “Maybe she can do one more event, but what’s important for her is, we make it through and we get her another week of rest on that ankle.”

North also experience a little bit of health issues at the sectional. Freshman Ashley Niebrugge was going to be the Bull Dogs’ No. 4 gymnast on the floor, but was sick. Tova Edwards was slated to replace her, but sprained ankle in warmups.

Freshman Alayne Davis ended up doing the floor and also replaced Kaitlyn Calandro as North’s No. 4 gymnast on the vault.

“It’s really cool that those kids are working so hard to be ready at that level,” North co-coach Sandy Freshour said. “Friday night, we fought really, really hard. But I think we’re stronger than we performed on Friday night.”

The defending state champion Bull Dogs are led by senior Ashley Holliday and junior Claire Thompson, who finished 1-2 in the all-around at the sectional. Freshman Sami Heathcote placed fifth.

North co-coach Bob Arthur thinks the Bull Dogs still have some room for improvement.

“Our floor and our beam (scores) were down last week,” Arthur said. “It was flipped from the conference meet. Just like the year before, we have to get all the events and all the kids pulling together at the same time, and we’re going to be right there with the best.”

Icemen in state tourney

The Columbus Icemen will play in the Indiana High School Hockey Association State Tournament, which begins on Friday.

The Icemen are the No. 8 overall seed and will play in the Class 4A (higest level) division. They will play No. 5-seed Fort Wayne Carroll at 4 p.m. Friday, No. 4-seed Lakeshore/St. Joe (Michigan) at 1:15 p.m. Saturday and No. 1-seed Carmel (Gold) at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Pop Weaver rink at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The winner of the Icemen’s pool and the other 4A pool will meet for the state championship at 6:30 p.m. March 11 the South Bend Icebox. Carmel (Gold) beat the Icemen in last year’s 4A state championship game.

North girls trio in Top 60

Three seniors from the regional champion Columbus North girls basketball team have been selected to participate in this year’s Girls Top 60 Workout.

Imani Guy, Maliah Howard-Bass and Ashlyn Huffman are among the seniors picked for a session at either 1 or 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Heritage Christian.

The event is open to the public. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

Locals make All-Conference

Two area girls basketball players have been selected to this year’s All-Hoosier Hills Conference team.

Columbus East junior Britney Ballard and Jennings County senior Sidney Gerkin are on the first team. East’s Kristen Lyons and Jennings Callie Wilder made honorable mention.

Senior on state champion

Columbus resident Noah Clark is a member of the Indianapolis Home-School Wildcats that won the Indiana Christian Basketball Alliance state championship last month in Noblesville.

Last weekend, the 19-year-old senior helped the Wildcats finish third in the Midwest Regional in Westfield. The team will compete in the national tournament March 13-18 in Springfield, Missouri.

All-Star Games scheduled

The Third Annual All-Area All-Star Games, featuring local basketball talent, will be March 27 at Columbus Christian. The girls game will start at 6 p.m., followed by the boys game at around 7:30 p.m.

This year’s event will benefit Columbus Christian junior Levi Sallee, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident last fall.