GREENWOOD — As Columbus North gymnasts competed against Roncalli at The Gymnastics Company in Indianapolis on Tuesday night, they ran, jumped, and tumbled for more than just a high score from the judges.
On its way to a 106.85-96.75 victory over Roncalli, the Bull Dogs fought for senior gymnast Emma Geilker, now out for the season. Geilker was involved in a serious car accident early Saturday morning.
North senior Danielle McDermott emphasized what a large part of the team Geilker is as both a motivator and a competitor.
“We told her that we would win the meet for her, and we did. This whole season is for her,” McDermott said.
McDermott took first in the all-around with a score of 36.475.
“Even though she is not competing, she is still a part of our team,” McDermott said. “She will be at every single one of our meets. She is still gonna be there for us.”
And Geilker was there on Tuesday, for about half of the meet, to support her team a mere three days after her accident.
“We are just so glad she is here,” North coach Sandy Freshour said. “She is definitely an inspiration to the girls, and we are just so thankful.”
North’s Chelsea Wieland took second in the all-around competition with a score of 35.55, followed by Katrina May with 34.175. Megan Heathcote took fourth with a score of 33.975.
Freshour talked about the impact the accident had on her team’s performance on Tuesday, as North scored three points lower as a team than the season high it posted at Saturday’s invitational meet at Connersville, right after the team was made aware of the accident.
“Saturday was just devastating, but as soon as we found out that Emma was going to be OK, they were on a mission to win that one for her,” Freshour said. “And we won the invitational, and posted a season high.”
“This was a meet we could have done better, but the girls have not have a lot of time to come down from everything, and they are very exhausted.”
McDermott said the other seniors — herself and Wieland — will need to step up and assume even more responsibility without Geilker competing alongside them.
“There is definitely more responsibility on us,” McDermott said. “We need to step up, and some of the junior varsity girls will need to as well, however we know that Emma is going to be here for us regardless, and that means a lot.”