East sophomore overcomes ankle injury to compete in postseason

Toward the end of January, Columbus East sophomore Taylen Lane sustained a left ankle injury while on the bars during gymnastics practice.

It was an injury that Lane thought was very serious.

“I was really worried and hoping that I could be able to compete, but I wasn’t able to,” Lane said.

Thankfully for Lane, it was only a sprained ankle, which made her of chances at competing in the state finals a possibility. After finishing third in the East Regional on Friday, Lane and her Olympian teammates will compete in the state finals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Noblesville High School.

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East coach Nancy Kirshman saw Lane’s injury happen.

“Taylen did a number on her ankle,” Kirshman recalls. “I remember turning and watching it happen. She was just dropping off the bars and wasn’t paying attention to where she was when she hit the mat. It looked far worse than what it actually was. Thankfully, it wasn’t broken and we moved forward and started getting strength in her ankle again.”

After not being able to do much activity at first, Lane gradually worked her way back into shape in time for the postseason. She competed only on the bars during a Feb. 13th dual meet against Owen Valley.

Nine days later at the East Sectional, Lane, who is the No. 2 gymnast for East, competed on the bars and beam and scored a 8.575 and a 9.125, respectively, finishing second on the beam. Her scores were much needed giving the Olympians a couple of extra points in those two events to edge out Bloomington North 103.225-101.350 for the third and final regional-qualifying spot.

At Friday’s East Regional, Lane was healthy enough to compete in three events — bars, beam and floor. She finished eighth on the bars (8.375), second on the beam (9.125) and ninth on the floor (9.275).

The Olympians didn’t have much trouble advancing to the state finals, finishing in third place.

Lane is hopeful she will be able to compete in all four events at the state meet.

“It’s good news that I’m actually able to do stuff and that it wasn’t broken. I’m glad that I’m being able to compete on mostly everything,” Lane said. “It feels a lot better than what it did. I still have some pain, but the trainers have been taping it, and I was doing therapy earlier, so it is a lot better.”

Kirshman says that Lane competing on the vault is a possibility, but will exercise caution since East is not among the top favorites to go home with a state championship.

“She is a strong competitor, perhaps not the best at practice, but she’s always a great competitor.” Kirshman said. “We’ll have to wait and see. I’m not going to risk her getting hurt. Hopefully, she does well and fights through everything, and she usually does.”

One big change at this year’s state finals is the venue. The state finals has been at Worthen Arena on the campus of Ball State University since 2011.

Lane will be competing in her second state finals, so she’s not as nervous heading in this time.

“It’ll be a lot better knowing what to expect and what it’s actually like, even though it’s a different place,” Lane said. “I’m used to how many people will compete because of sectional and regional.”

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Gymnastics State Finals

When: 1 p.m. Saturday (opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m.)

Where: Noblesville High School, 18111 Cumberland Rd., Noblesville

Admission: $10 (free for preschoolers)

Teams: Columbus East, Columbus North, Angola, Chesterton, Fort Wayne Carroll, Homestead, Lake Central, Portage, Richmond