With two of their top three competitors back and the addition of three club gymnasts, the Columbus North girls gymnastics team is a good bet to make its seventh consecutive trip to the state finals.
“They walked into a tradition of competing as a state finalist team,” North coach Sandy Freshour said of her current roster of gymnasts. “This year, we’re hoping to be able to continue that tradition.”
Seniors Danielle McDermott and Chelsea Wieland were two of North’s three all-around gymnasts last season, finishing 13th and 29th, respectively, at state. Senior Emma Geilker also competed in the postseason.
“Those three provide a really good core of leadership and experience,” Freshour said. “The team will have three senior leaders who have a lot of experience, and we will have the addition of all of the club kids. We should have a pretty good group.”
The club gymnasts are freshman Katrina May, sophomore Kaitlyn Barnes and junior Megan Heathcote.
“I’m really excited,” Wieland said. “I’ve competed with the three club girls for most of my life here in Columbus, so I’m excited to share the high school experience with them. I think it will be a fun season.”
“The new ones coming in provide a lot of experience,” Freshour said. “We’re really excited about that.”
Sophomore Tristan Gregg and junior Nikki Smith also have a year of varsity experience.
“It’s just a fun group to work with,” Freshour said. “They all get along really well and are supportive of each other. It’s been a really good start. We’re looking forward to a good season.”
“I think we have a pretty solid team this year,” McDermott said. “We got some new girls that were on club, so that really helped our team a lot. We actually have a really good team. I’m excited for this year.”
The Bull Dogs open the season Monday against Bloomington North. They’re hoping not only to return to state in March but to finish in the top three.
“It would be nice if we could medal at state,” Wieland said. “The whole high school atmosphere is new for a couple of girls, so it will be new for them to experience that.”
“We want to make it to make it to state and get in the top five,” McDermott said. “We just need to train hard, and hopefully we can make it to top three.”