For The Tribune
Seymour senior gymnasts Avery DeHart and Nicole Elmore competed in their final gymnastics event of their high school careers Saturday at the state finals meet at Noblesville High School.
They shared the stage together for the second and final time in their four years with the program.
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The friendship and bond they spent together in club gymnastics and high school gymnastics will be a lifelong memory.
“We’ve been really good friends since elementary school, and it was really awesome for her to come with me,” DeHart said.
Seymour coach Angie Mellencamp said the duo were the foundation and backbone of the program this season and are going to be tough shoes to fill.
“They have been such huge role models in the gym and out of the gym,” Mellencamp said. “They have so much heart and so much dedication. Everything I’ve asked them to do, they step up to the plate and go above and beyond what my expectations were. We are definitely going to have a huge void in the gym without them in there next year.”
DeHart competed on the bars and scored an 8.7 to finish in a tie for 20th place overall.
She said she accomplished everything she wanted to competing for the Owls and ending her career as a state finalist.
“I got everything that I wanted to, and I made a lot of friendships over the years that I’ll have for the rest of my life,” she said. “My connection with the coaches has grown even more than what it had been. I did club gymnastics and I moved to high school gymnastics, and it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I may not have competed the best (at state), but I made it, and that was what my goal was. It was awesome to come back and do it again.”
Elmore scored an 8.425 on the floor to place in a tie for 41st overall.
She said she was extremely proud with how the season turned out.
“I think it was a great end to the season because not many people can say that they’ve been to the state meet,” Elmore said. “Avery and I made it here twice and going as a team last year. I believe it was a great way to end the season.”
Even though their careers may have ended, DeHart and Elmore both said they plan to come back and visit Gymnastics Lane and still support the Owls program.
“It’s like a family, but it will be weird not being at the gym every day,” Elmore said. “I’m definitely going to miss seeing them all, but we will definitely be in there and visiting during the summer.”
It was the work ethic of DeHart and Elmore that got them to be the gymnasts they are now.
“I’ve really watched them both grow and mature in the sport. They are the kind of athletes that set goals and go after them,” Mellencamp said. “It might take us six weeks or it might take us six months, but throughout their careers, both of them have worked diligently on their bigger skills, and they’ve gotten them. It was why they were here today.”