Taylor Gaskill is finding her second trip through a high school gymnastics season a little less difficult than her first.

The Columbus East junior’s familiarity with high school gymnastics has led to a more productive year. She’s the No. 2 gymnast for an Olympians team that hopes to compete for a state title today at Ball State’s Worthen Arena.

“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve done this year,” Gaskill said. “It’s been a lot easier, and I know what to expect. This year, I can just focus on my routines and hitting them.”

Gaskill’s scores all season have complemented those of senior standout Adi Minor, who is a favorite to capture the state all-around title. Gaskill finished second on the floor with a 9.55; third on the vault (9.25) and fourth on the bars (9.175) and beam (9.075) on her way to a third-place all-around finish with a 37.05 to help the East to its first sectional since 2001.

Last week, Gaskill took on the vault (9.325), bars (9.0) and floor (9.325) on her way to a fourth-place all-around finish with a 36.175 in the Connersville Regional. A fall on the beam kept her from medaling on that event.

“She’s a good, solid gymnast if she wants to be,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “She has a little fear now and then or not full confidence all the time, but she’s a solid gymnast on four events. She’s earned the spot as the No. 2 gymnast. She’s worked hard on elements that she’s done.”

Gaskill was a club gymnast through her eighth-grade year. She took her freshman year off from the sport before joining the high school team last season.

She’s glad she did.

“I like it a lot here,” Gaskill said. “It’s more of a team aspect, and I like being with all the girls that are my age.”

The third-ranked Olympians, which had beaten No. 5 Columbus North in the regular season and in the sectional, finished second behind the Bull Dogs at the regional. East hopes to overtake North, as well as No. 1 Chesterton, No. 2 Valparaiso and No. 4 Fort Wayne Carroll today.

Gaskill hopes to do her part by having clean routines on all four events.

“I just want to be able to hit 4 for 4 and be able to do it for my team,” Gaskill said. “I think we just need to keep the right mindset and stay focused and be confident in all of our skills. Hopefully, we can have a good day.”

Gymnastics State Finals

When: 1 p.m. today (opening ceremonies start at 12:30 p.m.)

Where: Worthen Arena, 1699 W. Bethel Ave., Muncie

Teams: Columbus East, Columbus North, Chesterton, Fort Wayne Carroll, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, Homestead, Portage, Seymour, Valparaiso

Admission: $10

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