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Bull Dogs freshman sweeps season-opening meet

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BLOOMINGTON — When freshman Ashley Holliday finished her final routine at the balance beam Monday at Bloomington North High School, she was grinning from ear to ear.

The same could be said of Columbus North gymnastics coach Sandy Freshour, after Holliday took first in each event, including the all-around in the Bull Dogs’ win over Bloomington North 105.2-92.75.

“This was a great debut for her,” Freshour said of Holliday’s performance. “It was definitely the highlight of the day, and I’m excited to see what she has in store for us the rest of the season.”

Holliday said she wasn’t nervous in her first meet.

“I try not to be nervous a lot,” Holliday said. “I tend to go through the routines in my head, and in the past that has worked out well for me.”

“I’m really excited about my performance,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get as high of scores as I did, but to end up doing as good as I did on my routines was really great.”

Holliday scored a 9.25 on the floor exercise, 9.025 on the uneven bars, a 9.2 on the vault and a 9.05 for the balance beam, scoring a 36.525 in the all-around performance.

“I’m excited for the rest of the season,” Holliday said. “It’s good to get this first meet out of the way, because I know different things I need to work on.”

Freshour said the team got off to a slow start.

“We had major, major jitters today,” Freshour said. “We had a mix of adrenaline and cabin fever from the weather last week, and we needed to shake the cobwebs off.”

The Bull Dogs took the top three places in three of four events, with Katrina May finishing second in all-around and Megan Heathcote finishing third.

“It wasn’t a terrible performance,” Freshour said. “We have many things to work on. It wasn’t terrible or stellar. Overall it was OK.”

May finished second in balance beam, uneven bars and vault, while Heathcote finished second in floor, third in bars and fourth in vault. Kaitlyn Barnes finished third in vault and beam.

With a larger crowd than usual at the meet, Freshour said the pressure was what the girls needed.

“While the girls were nervous, they were also real excited to get their first meet in,” Freshour said. “To be in front of a pretty good sized audience and have some of the girls do well in this environment was good.”

Freshour said she expects the girls to improve upon their performance.

“We know what we need to correct,” Freshour said. “We have the nerves out of the way now, and all we need to do is compete.”

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