Seymour gymnastics team shoots for sectional


The Seymour High School gymnastics team posted its highest score of the season Monday night at Bloomington High School South.

Coach Angie Mellencamp said she hopes her team can raise the 99.6 point total tonight 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 and see the judges one final time before sectional. I think it was a confidence booster.”

At sectional, she thinks it will take 101 or 102 team score to advance to regional.

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“In this sport, you never know,” she said. “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,” Mellencamp said. “We don’t really have a whole lot new to put in Friday night at sectional. 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,” she said. “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,” she said. “Usually, starting the competition nerves are high, and to get up on the beam and work with four 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, Kayli Carter, Piper Hawkins and Marlo Cornn competed in the sectional last year, and Mellencamp said she hopes that experience will be a benefit tonight.

“We have a young, new team,” she said. “A lot of them haven’t experienced a (meet) this big. Invites we have gone to have had eight to nine 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, 33.45.

“I want to get my all-around scores higher,” she said.

Smith 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,” Smith said. “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.”

Smith said floor is her favorite event, and her favorite move to score points is her front handspring, front layout.

“The judges really like it,” she said.

Cote said she will concentrate on vault, bars and floor Friday night.

“I like bars,” she said. Her best score has been 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,” she said.

The Owls did not get to compete in a meet at Columbus East this season, but Cote said she likes competing on the equipment there.

“We’re all progressing, getting good scores and team highs,” she said.

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.

“The top teams are Bloomington North and Columbus North,” Mellencamp said. “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.

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