The Seymour High School girls’ gymnastics team posted its highest score of the season (99.6) at Bloomington South Monday night, and Coach Angie Mellencamp said she hopes her team can raise the point total Friday night at the Columbus East Sectional.
“They are hitting at the right time,” she said during a practice at Gymnastics Lane earlier this week. “It was good to see the competition floor (Monday) night and see the judges one final time before sectionals. I think it was a confidence booster.
“I would think it will take a 101 or a 102 to get out. In this sport you never know. It depends on No. 1, which teams are healthy. Unfortunately this season that has played one of the biggest roles in competition (because of Covid 19), and No.2, who hits.
“Some teams have been quarantined and they’re just not in typical competition mode. Knock on wood, we have not had to quarantine. The weather the last two weeks has affected their training.”
She said the girls are confident going into the meet.
“The girls are starting to get more comfortable with sticking their skills, and staying on the equipment.
“We don’t really have a whole lot new to put in Friday night at sectionals, we are just really looking to have clean routines.”
Mellencamp said the girls are executing harder skills than they were at the beginning of the season.
“They have all done really well this year as far as increasing their difficulty, and adding bonuses each meet. The girls have done really well and have been super flexible at meets as far as putting in skills, taking out skills, figuring out what feels the best, and what’s easiest for them to stick and hit in competition.
“They do well in the middle (of the competition), and I think they compete best if they start their rotation on any event besides beam. Usually starting the competition nerves are high, and to get up on the beam, and work with 4 inches (width of the beam), with your nerves really high is difficult.”
The Owls will start out on floor exercise, then go to vault, bars, and finish on beam.
Lillie Cote, Kayla Carter, Piper Hawkins and Marlo Cornn competed in the sectional last year, and Mellencamp said she is hoping that experience of competing in sectionals last year will be a benefit to those four Friday night.
“We have a young, new team. A lot of them haven’t experienced a (meet) this big. Invites we have gone to have had 8 to 9 teams. It is a long night. They just need to pretend like they are on their home equipment doing the same routines they’ve done for most of the season.”
Sophomore Paige Smith topped the Owls in all-around in the meet at Bloomington with her best score of the season at 33.45.
She said, “I want to get my all-around scores higher.” She thinks she can raise her scores in vault and bars. “In vault I need to twist a full, and on bars I need to connect my routine without stopping.
“My floor has been strong and my scores have been getting higher every single meet, and beam I just have to stay on the beam. Floor is my favorite event. I like showing off my routine.”
Smith said her favorite move to score points in floor is “my front handspring, front layout. The judges really like it. Gymnastics teaches me dedication and responsibility. I’m definitely improving and next year is going to be even better.”
Cote said she will concentrate on vault, bars and floor Friday night.
“I like bars,” she said, adding her best score has been an 8.275.
“I’m just looking forward to coming in with a new team and hit our events really strong, and I’m really confident in our team because I know we work together really well, so I’m excited to showcase what we have.”
The Owls did not get to compete in a meet at East this season, but Cote said she likes competing on the equipment at East. “I like their floor. Their floor is a lot bouncier, and I think they have good carpet.
“We’re all progressing, getting good scores and team highs.”
Mellencamp said, “We are really focusing this week just coming in, hitting our practices, trying not to come out of practice sore, and just cleaning up so that when we are on the equipment that late they are feeling good.”
Other schools competing will be the host Olympians, Columbus North, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Edgewood, Decatur Central, Franklin Central, Martinsville, Owen Valley, Indianapolis Lutheran, Indianapolis Scecina and Indianapolis Roncalli.
Mellencamp said, “The top teams are Bloomington North and Columbus North. That third spot is kind of open for all. Everyone in our sectional is between the 98 and 102 range.”
The top three teams and top six individuals in each event and all-around will advance to the Columbus East Regional the following weekend.