Taylor Gaskill wasn’t quite ready to leave her club gymnastics team when she started high school last year.
This year, however, the sophomore was anxious to join her friends on the Columbus East squad, and she’s glad she did.
Friday night, the Olympians will compete in their own regional with a chance to make a return trip to the state finals.
“Just over the year, I started thinking about doing gymnastics here,” Gaskill said. “I just like being with people from my school and being able to represent my school. It’s more of a team aspect. I like getting to compete with my team and how we all cheer for each other.”
This season, Gaskill has been the No. 3 gymnast for the Olympians behind junior Adi Minor and senior Seena Greiwe. With Minor able to compete only on the bars in last week’s East Sectional, Gaskill came through with one of her best meets of the season.
Gaskill placed sixth on the bars with a 9.2. She also tied for seventh on the floor with a 9.125 and finished seventh in the all-around competition with a 36.05.
That helped lead the Olympians to a third-place team finish and a spot in Friday’s East Regional.
“She’s a great addition to our program,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “She’s very reliable. She has very good skills and does well on all four events. She’s a quiet girl, but she works hard, she tries to do what you ask her to do and that’s all you can ask of your athletes.”
Gaskill would have been just under her personal-best all-around score or 36.7 last week if not for a fall on the beam. She hopes to correct that and touch up a couple other minor flaws in her routines in the regional.
The top three teams and any other individuals in the top six on any event and the all-around at the regional qualify for the March 11 state finals at Ball State.
“I’d like to be able to hit all my routines on Friday to prove that I can do better because I know I can,” Gaskill said. “I want to get more confidence and place better and get better scores and help the team get to state.”
Columbus East Regional
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Columbus East High School
Teams: Columbus East, Columbus North, Bloomington South, Connersville, New Palestine, Richmond
Advancement: Top three teams and any other individuals in the top six on an event or the all-around qualify for the March 11 state finals.