Judging by the excitement radiating from the Columbus North gymnastics team after its home meet Thursday night, one would think the Bull Dogs had just won an extremely close competition as opposed to their wide margin of victory against a small Martinsville squad.
Ultimately, they had. And the North gymnasts were competing against themselves.
In beating Martinsville 108.55-86.3, North broke 108 for the first time this season, an accomplishment that puts the Bull Dogs in elite company among the top four teams in the state. “It’s really exciting,” said North freshman Katrina May, who took first in the all-around with a score of 36.45. “This puts us third in the state in front of (Fort Wayne) Dwenger, which is great for us because we are hoping to place in the top three at state this season.”
“They are always supposed to be competing against themselves,” said North head coach Sandy Freshour. “We always talk about what is possible to improve and what we can do. If everyone is able to pick up a tenth in their routine, that really adds up.”
North senior Chelsea Wieland took second in the all-around with a score of 35.575, followed by senior teammate Danielle McDermott (35.325), while North’s Megan Heathcote took fourth (34.85).
Freshour said the key to North’s success so far this season has been the balance of talent and support.
“I am very pleased,” Freshour said. “We are tweaking things, and they are all doing their part and supporting each other. I love that we are not putting the whole thing on any one person’s shoulders and we continue to get better and better.”
Freshour emphasized the effect the junior varsity has had on the varsity squad, as they are always pushing each other to do better.
“It’s really nice to see the junior varsity making improvements in their routines,” Freshour said. “The girls all support each other and are all working towards one goal.”
North’s Nikki Smith placed first in the all-around for the junior varsity with a score of 28.35, followed by teammate Tristan Gregg with 27.1.
Weiland placed first on floor exercise (9.375), first on beam (8.825) and third on bars (8.825), while May placed second on floor (9.35), second on beam (8.725), second on bars (9.225) and second on vault (9.15).
McDermott placed first on bars (9.35), first on floor (8.85) and first on vault (9.2), while Heathcote took third on vault (8.8), fourth on bars (8.55), fourth on beam (8.275) and third on floor (9.225).
Although North already has hit a major mark at this point in the season, Freshour said the Bull Dogs still have strides to make.
“Hitting 108 was a real goal of theirs,” Freshour said. “I love that not everything is perfect and we were still able to do that at this point in the season. I think this should inspire them. We want to be at our top in March.”