KATRINA May hadn’t competed in the all-around since the first week of the gymnastics season, and she didn’t even know she would compete in all four events Friday night until the first event had been completed.
But May, who is battling back from a severely sprained ankle, was able to show off her full arsenal in the Columbus East Regional. She didn’t disappoint, winning the all-around with a 39.925 to lead co-No. 6 Columbus North to the team title.
“It felt great,” May said. “It was very exciting to be able to do all the events again. I was a little nervous, but I got that out of my system. We’re excited for state.”
The Bull Dogs finished with a 109.55 team score to 106.0 for runner-up and co-No. 10 Columbus East, with both teams qualifying for the March 22 state finals at Ball State. No. 12 Connersville edged No. 13 Bloomington South 105.025-104.675 to
earn the third and final qualifying spot.
May had been competing only on the bars and beam since injuring the ankle in mid-January. The sophomore added the vault in last week’s East Sectional, and Friday added the floor.
“I had no idea,” May said. “I wasn’t even sure if I was competing floor when I came in today, but I made the decision to go ahead and try it. We had already warmed up, and we were going to floor to compete, and my coaches asked me if I wanted to compete. It was a last-minute decision, but it turned out pretty well.”
“We took some things out of her routines,” North coach Sandy Freshour said. “She is such a competitor and loves to compete. We were hesitant, but her doctor (Cary Guse) is here at the meet and gave us his blessing, and the trainer (Steve Souder) gave us his blessing, and Katrina is full speed ahead.”
May finished second on the bars (9.25), third on the beam (9.35) and tied for sixth on the vault (9.175) and seventh on the floor (9.15).
“I had a little mess-up on vault, but came back from that, and we ended up having a great meet,” May said. “We’re hoping to place top-four at state, so this was a good step for us.”
North freshman Ashley Holliday won the bars with a 9.3. She was fifth in the all-around with a 36.675.
“I’m proud of my whole team,” Holliday said. “However, my performance wasn’t my best, but our performance together was really good.”
Senior Megan Heathcote finished sixth in the all-around with a 35.9. Junior Kaitlyn Barnes was 14th with a 34.35.
“I think we still have some things we need to clean up,” Freshour said. “We still are working on our execution. We had a couple falls, so that’s a good motivator for improvement and we’ll be back in the gym all next week working on those things.
“The judging was a little tighter I think this week,” she said. “But that’s OK. You expect that. Everybody is good when you get to this type of a meet. The talent is huge, so the judges have to be a lot pickier as the levels go on. But we are regional champions, so that’s always a good thing.”
East, meanwhile, rallied to finish runner-up. The Olympians were in fourth place, 1.7 points out of third at the midway point and were still in fourth, .25-point out of third before scoring a 27.15 on the floor to pass Connersville and Bloomington South.
“It’s subjective,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “You have to go out and do what you have to do. It’s not like basketball where you keep putting in through the hoop. You know what your kids are capable of scoring, and you hope you go out there and do that.
“We actually had a very good night,” she said. “We had very good bar routines tonight. They did an outstanding job. They came from behind. Those two teams unfortunately had to finish on balance beam, but that’s the breaks of the draw. That’s the pressure event, and it didn’t quite get done for them. I’m proud of our girls. We’re excited about moving on.”
Freshman Becca Bryan finished second in the all-around with a 36.85 to lead the Olympians. She won the floor with a 9.575.
“It was my last event, so I was like ‘Why not go out and have fun?’” Bryan said. “I gave it my all, and it came out good. I know I have to go back into the gym and work on little things, but I’m extremely happy right now.”
East junior Jaycie Jaggers finished 13th in the all-around with a 34.525. Freshman Seena Greiwe took 15th with a 34.15.
“I can’t even describe it right now,” Bryan said. “I just know that all of my teammates are there with me, and it’s the best feeling in the whole world right now.”