The Grove City High School gymnastics team left the district meet Feb. 25 at Worthington Kilbourne with a program-best performance, the all-around individual champion and its first team championship trophy.

The Grove City High School gymnastics team left the district meet Feb. 25 at Worthington Kilbourne with a program-best performance, the all-around individual champion and its first team championship trophy.

Adding to the sweetness for the Greyhounds is that they had to outduel a deep field to earn their trip to the state meet Friday, March 2, at Hilliard Bradley. The top nine individuals in each event, including the all-around, advanced to compete Saturday, March, 3, at Bradley.

Dublin Coffman was the top seed, and many of the coaches in attendance believed that as many as six teams had a shot at earning one of the three state-qualifying spots.

The Greyhounds began the day with a strong performance on vault (36.425) and finished with a 140.075 as the Shamrocks placed second (139.375).

Thomas Worthington advanced for the third consecutive season by turning in a 137.45 that placed it third ahead of Olentangy (137.225), Worthington Kilbourne (136.6) and DeSales (136.225).

Kilbourne and DeSales advanced to state a year ago along with the Cardinals.

"We started off on vault and they hit on all of them," said Mark Hartley, who is in his 16th season as the Greyhounds' coach. "They had their best day ever, set a school record (for team score) and had the meet of their lifetime."

Freshman Erin Maynard captured the all-around title with a 35.9 that included a first-place finish on uneven bars (9.35). Also placing in the all-around for the Greyhounds was freshman Jenny Seibert (seventh, 35.1).

Senior Miranda Gaitten tied for sixth on floor exercise (9.0) and tied for eighth on vault (9.125). Senior Angela Hughes was another key contributor, according to Hartley.

The last time Grove City advanced to state as a team was 2007, when it placed fourth.

Eight-time defending state champion Brecksville-Broadview Heights is back among this year's field.

"Our team has been growing together so well," Gaitten said. "We know each other and support each other and that keeps us together. We all came together on vault."

Coffman's top performance was by Nicole Fusco, who tied Olentangy's Colleen McHugh and Kilbourne's Erica Rodriguez for third (35.425) all-around.

Claire Edwards added a runner-up finish on bars (8.85) and Fusco took third on bars (8.65) to help the Shamrocks make it back to state after a two-year absence.

"We can only control ourselves, and we had a season high," said coach Julie Kayser, who was named the district's Coach of the Year. "It was the whole team. There wasn't one girl that stood out. We had a season high on vault and bars and our overall team score."

Thomas got a runner-up performance by Anna Glover on balance beam (9.15) and a third-place finish from Leah Carloni on vault (9.25).

Carloni was sixth all-around (35.225).

"It was pure excitement, and it was purely out of the blue (that we advanced to state)," Thomas coach Marci Skeen said. "We were holding hands when they were announcing the scores just saying, 'Please don't say us yet.' It's probably one of the most exciting things I can remember. I'm just happy to get (to state)."

Olentangy's Bridgette Boyle turned in the second best all-around score (35.5), which included a third-place finish on floor (9.05).

"It was everything I could ask for," Boyle said. "The team had the best day we could and we all were just really excited."

McHugh won vault (9.45) and was third on floor (9.05) in addition to tying for third all-around. She did not compete at district last year because of an injury.

"We did really well and it was our best day as a team all year," McHugh said. "We'll just try harder so that we can make it to state next year."

Also winning titles were Olentangy Liberty's Jackie Hayes on beam (9.3) and DeSales' Katie Vance on floor (9.175).

Misty Lloyd-Matthews will coach both Olentangy individuals as well as Hayes, Vance and Big Walnut's Natalie Mathews (third on beam, 9.0) at state.