Katrina May’s gymnastics season was almost over before it got too far off the ground.
The Columbus North sophomore was competing on the floor exercise at Columbus East in the second meet of the season when she did a back handspring and twisted an ankle on the landing. She broke the fifth metatarsal in her foot.
“I had a little bit of a rough start,” said May, who would return in time to win a regional all-around title, lead the Bull Dogs to a third-place team finish in the state finals and earn
The Republic Athlete of the Year for Gymnastics honors.
After the injury at East, May had her foot taped, took some ibuprofen and finished by doing her beam routine.
“I did most of my things one-footed,” May said.
But then after X-rays revealed the break, May sat out a couple of meets. She returned by doing only the bars and beam the rest of the regular season and picked up the vault at the East Sectional.
“It was a little frustrating to know that I could compete in all-around and do well, but not be able to,” May said. “But it was nice to be able to get better on beam especially because I had a lot of time out there. Toward the end of the year, it was nice to get back to all four events.”
“The injury, as terrible as it was, came early in the season, so by the time she was back and ready to go on the events, we still had a couple of meets left, so that worked pretty well,” North coach Sandy Freshour said. “She slowly but surely, as we were given more permission to do skills, worked her way back into good, healthy position. The other girls on the team picked up the slack, and the team score was holding well, so there was no need to rush her recovery.”
May and Freshour weren’t sure if May could add the floor to compete in the all-around in the East Regional until just before it was time for the event. But she did it and won the all-around with a 36.925
“It was exciting to come to such a large meet and place so high in the all-around,” May said.
At state, May earned a medal with a sixth-place finish on the beam with a 9.3. She tied for ninth in the all-around with a 36.975.
“I didn’t have any falls, but my routines were wobbly,” May said. “It wasn’t as good as regional, but it wasn’t too bad.”
Freshour credited Dr. Cary Guse and trainer Steve Souder with helping May recover enough to be able to perform at a high level at the end of the season.
“Her dedication and her level of excitement to compete in the sport played a big role, too,” Freshour said. “I think we must all have been really lucky and fortunate about where (the injury) was, and the fact that it didn’t completely come apart and there was no compound fracture. It seemed to make the healing possible.
“Then with so much time spent on your hands played into it rather nicely because it allowed her to be in good shape and have good workouts and come back better,” she said.
Next year, May hopes to finish in the top five at state in the all-around and help the Bull Dogs finish in the top two as a team.
May is currently a pole vaulter on the 10th-ranked North girls track team. She finished fifth in the regional as a freshman last year and hopes to qualify for state this season.
May hopes to follow in the footsteps of former North gymnast and pole vaulter and current University of Indianapolis freshman Chelsea Wieland and pole vault in college.
“She influenced me a lot in the area of track,” May said. “I wasn’t going to do track until she talked about pole vault all the time. It sounded really fun, so I went last year and ended up being pretty good.”