Pair of Seymour gymnasts qualify for state



Avery DeHart and Nicole Elmore put up scores and then played the waiting game.

In the end, things turned out just fine for the pair of Seymour seniors. Both came away with sixth-place finishes on their respective events in Friday night’s Columbus East Regional to claim the final qualifying spots to the Gymnastics State Finals.

“It was extremely nerve-racking because I was one of the first girls that competed (on the bars), and I had all that time to wait, not knowing whether or not I was going to make the cut,” DeHart said. “We were all sitting on the benches waiting on the last scores on bars to come up. It was just a really exciting moment for me because I was sitting in sixth place, and I didn’t think I was going to make the cut.”

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DeHart scored an 8.6, which was a little lower than her score of 8.875 in the Columbus East Sectional the previous week. She was the sixth of 30 gymnasts to compete on the bars, so she had to wait through 24 girls to see if her score would hold up.

Fortunately, DeHart’s sister and teammate, sophomore Allie DeHart, was writing down all of the bars and floor scores to let Avery and Elmore know where they stood.

“She was there the whole night keeping track,” Avery DeHart said. “I was very happy that she was able to be there and help us out with everything.”

Elmore scored a 9.35 on the floor. That score tied her personal best and was just above the 9.3 she scored in the sectional.

“My routine was pretty decent,” Elmore said. “I threw two full twisting layouts on the routine, which is something I had never done before. I normally only do one, but this time, I put in two, and I think it helped my score.”

The Owls’ other regional qualifier, senior Brett Kleber, finished 15th on the bars with an 8.075.

“It is a bummer that Brett didn’t make it out, but it is exciting for the two girls who did make it to the state meet,” Seymour coach Angie Mellencamp said. “Their performances were very similar from sectional to regional. As a coach, I want them to hit, and I want them to be clean, and they both came out and did that.”

The three Seymour seniors had qualified for regional as individuals after the Owls finished fifth as a team in the Columbus East Sectional a week earlier.

The top three teams and the top six individuals in each event at the regional qualified for the Saturday’s state finals at Noblesville High School.

“I was so excited because with me being a senior, I was kind of sad with the season coming to an end,” Elmore said. “But it’s great that we get another chance to perform.”

Seventh-ranked Columbus North won the regional team title with a 109.65. Richmond (105.35) and Columbus East (104.925) claimed the other two state-qualifying berths.

Both Avery DeHart and Elmore were part of the Owls team that competed at state last season. This year, they will compete as individuals.

“Last year, I didn’t have a very good regional on bars, so this was kind of redeeming,” Avery DeHart said. “Hopefully, I’ll do a lot better at state than I did at regional last year.”

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