Nancy Kirshman has celebrated birthdays throughout most of her 45 years of coaching gymnastics at Columbus East, but she hasn’t had many birthday presents like the one she received Monday night.
Kirshman’s fifth-ranked Olympians put up the state’s second-best score this season and beat their school record by more than a point in rolling to a 112.5 to 97.3 win against Bloomington South.
“I’ll take that,” Kirshman said. “At my age, we don’t get many presents. I wrote down a score before we started tonight, and on the piece of paper, I wrote 112.2. So I’ll take it as a birthday present.”
Adi Minor, the team’s lone senior, tied her own school record with a 9.9 on the bars. Minor also won the vault (9.7), beam (9.75) and floor (9.7) for a season-best 39.05 in taking the all-around.
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East’s previous best score this season was a 109.95.
“A 112 — wow,” Minor said. “I was rooting for like a 110 to beat that 109, but they absolutely shattered it tonight. Everything just came together. Before the meet, I told the girls that we’re just going to keep a positive mindset, an open mind, and that we’re going to go out there and do our very best, and that’s what we did tonight.”
The Olympians swept the top four spots in the all-around. Taylor Gaskill finished second with a 26.45, while Abby Lewis took third with a 36.05 and Taylen Lane was fourth with a 35.55.
Gaskill finished second on the vault (9.1), tied for second on the bars (9.2) and took third on the beam (9.1) and floor (9.05).
“I just think our hard work is paying off,” Gaskill said. “(We’re) just getting in the right mindset with where we want to be, and I just hope we do better from here and keep going up.”
Lewis finished second on the beam (9.3), tied with Gaskill for second on the bars (9.2) and tied for fourth on the vault (8.7).
Lane was second on the floor (9.6), third on the vault (8.0) and fourth on the bars (8.4) and tied for fourth on the beam (8.65).
“I think that’s awesome,” Lewis said. “Every meet, somebody’s had an off day, and tonight everybody finally came together and did their best. Everything literally worked perfectly as planned. Now, we just need to follow through.”
East has one more regular-season meet — a Feb. 14 home contest with Owen Valley — before hosting the sectional on Feb. 23.
With that in mind, the Olympians knew they had to start building momentum for the postseason.
“All four of those young ladies are capable of scoring 9s on every single event,” Kirshman said. “Sort of our discussion has been, ‘We’re just coasting.’ We’re better than that. You can’t wait until the last minute.”