Team depth carries North gymnasts to easy triumph

The fourth-ranked Columbus North gymnasts showed their considerable depth Thursday night in putting up their second-best score of the season.

Eight Bull Dogs earned ribbons with top-four finishes in at least one of the four individual events, and four North girls scored better than a 9.1 on the floor to help the Bull Dogs put the finishing touches on a 109.975 to 91.0 win against Bloomington South.

“We saw some big improvements on floor and actually on beam, too,” North co-coach Bob Arthur said. “Bars is probably still our Achilles, but I think we did very strongly on vault. We had a couple new skills going in, and some worked out and some did not.”

Claire Thompson swept individual honors for the Bull Dogs. She won the vault (9.55), bars (9.875), beam (9.6) and floor (9.65) on her way to a 37.675 all-around score.

Thompson bounced back from last week’s meet at New Palestine, when she was sick and couldn’t finish her floor routine.

“The last meet was very rough to get through,” Thompson said. “This meet was easier. I still had a few mistakes, but overall, I felt much better, especially after last week.”

North’s Sami Heathcote took second on the vault (9.4), bars (8.75) and beam (9.25), and third on the floor (9.3) for a second-place all-around finish (36.7). Alayne Davis was third on the bars (8.25), fourth on the floor (9.125) and third in the all-around (34.15).

Ashley Niebrugge came through with a second-place finish on the floor (9.425) and also took fourth on the beam (8.35). Tova Edwards was third on the vault (8.95), and Kaitlyn Calandro finished third on the beam (8.775).  Emma Cooper took fourth on the vault (8.6), and Grace Ellis was fourth on the bars (7.675).

“We are continuing to do great work in the gym, and I think that little by little you’ll see a lot of these routines start to happen in meets,” North co-coach Sandy Freshour said. “They’re rising to the challenge very well. We’re still inconsistent in places, and we ebb and flow, but our goal is to be flowing good by the end of the season.”

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