North gymnasts look to capture regional title

Columbus North’s Reese Euler competes on the vault against Franklin Central Jan. 2 at Columbus North High School.

The Republic file photo

Columbus North won’t settle for second again. The Bull Dogs want to win.

The North gymnasts are one of two teams, along with Bloomington North, that will eye for the championship in the Franklin Central Regional competition Friday night.

Columbus North has been runner-up to the Cougars three times already this season. They lost a dual meet, the Conference Indiana championship and the sectional round last week. The Bull Dogs are looking to turn the tide on Friday.

“The fact that we were so close to them last week, and knowing that we did not have the perfect meet when you have to count a couple stops on bars and a couple falls on beam, we know that we’re capable,” Columbus North coach Bob Arthur said.

In order to do that, the Bull Dogs will have improve in some areas, which helped the Cougars get the edge and win the sectional 106.4 to 106.0.

Arthur said it is about fine-tuning the little things to avoid the minor one-tenth deduction points and staying on the beam.

“As I told the girls, there is not one gymnast, not one person that shoulders the weight because even if every girl increased by one-tenth (on each event), that’s 1.2 points,” Arthur said. “There’s no blame on any one person or skill, it is a team effort, thus that’s what we’re doing in here. Those steps on the dismount, pointing the toes out, no leg separations, no bent knees, we’re working on all those little elements. As I mentioned to the girls 4.2 of the routine is based on execution alone, so over 40% is based on that. I feel the one thing that is going to help us succeed is simply taking care of the details on the execution.”

While Columbus North and Bloomington North will likely finish first and second in the regional, Bloomington South has the edge for the third and final state qualifying spot. The Panthers’ sectional score of 103.7 was a little ahead of New Palestine’s 100.575 and Connersville’s 100.525.

The Bull Dogs will start the rotation Friday on the bars, then beam and floor and will finish on the vault.

The regional competition begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with the top three teams and the top six finishers on each apparatus and the all-around advancing to the March 9 state finals at Worthen Arena on the Ball State campus in Muncie.

Barring any major disasters, the Bull Dogs are in prime position to return to state once again.

“All they’ve got to do is do what they can do to the best of their ability, and things will shake out the way they’re supposed to be,” Arthur said. “The biggest regret is not having a good meet and looking and saying, ‘I wish I could do that over again.’ We want everyone to walk off the floor and say, ‘I gave it my best. I had a good routine.’ There’s no shame if we don’t end up on top at that point. We hate those ‘What ifs.’”