The Dublin Coffman High School gymnastics team has returned four of its top seven athletes from a year ago when it qualified for the state meet for the first time since 2009.
Among the returnees are the Shamrocks' three individual state qualifiers from last season in junior Claire Edwards and sophomores Nicole Fusco and Anna Pitts.
"Overall, we have nine girls returning and nine new girls on the varsity roster," 13th-year coach Julie Kayser said. "We are coming off a very successful season. We were 66-3 in the regular season, won the OCC-Ohio Division, placed second at district and seventh at state.
"Although we lost six four-year letterwinners to graduation, those three girls who advanced to the (individual) state meet all returned. We had several girls step up last season because we had so many injuries. The experience they gained last year should really help this season."
The Shamrocks finished seventh (136.825 points) in the state meet last season at Hilliard Bradley as Brecksville-Broadview Heights (148) won its ninth consecutive championship.
In the individual state competition, Fusco placed 24th in the all-around (35.125), tied for 20th on the uneven bars (8.725) and placed 21st on the balance beam (8.725). Edwards tied for 18th on bars (8.75) and Pitts finished 37th on the floor exercise (7.9).
The other returnees are seniors Janie Beaufore, Alina Carpenter, Dominika Kraszy, Shanna McFadden and Nicole Zych and junior Julie Pochodylo.
Also on the team are senior Meigan Way, juniors Allison Downie and Kylie Kayser, sophomore Jeanette Ogden and freshmen Shannon Downie, Kellie Holden, Sumire Minagawa, Morgan Pinnell and Alaina Yost.
"I'm looking for Meigan Way, Allison Downie, Shannon Downie and Sumire Minagawa to step into all-around positions, with the others being event specialists," coach Kayser said. "We will add difficulty to the routines as the season progresses. We hope to have our routines to their maximum potential by mid-January."
Coffman defeated Grove City 136.65-115.975 in its opening OCC-Ohio dual meet Dec. 11 after finishing third behind champion Mason and Worthington Kilbourne in the 20-team Forest Hills Flip Fest on Dec. 8 at Cincinnati Anderson.
Last season in the 24-team district meet at Kilbourne, the Shamrocks placed second (139.375) behind Grove City (140.075).
Coffman finished first (136.475) in the OCC-Ohio meet, followed by Grove City (136.225), Olentangy (135.125), Thomas Worthington (131.2), Upper Arlington (125.875) and Hilliard Darby (116.075).
The Shamrocks went 5-0 in OCC-Ohio duals and finished third in the overall league standings with 24 points, ahead of Olentangy (19, 4-1), Grove City (17, 3-2), Thomas (13, 3-2), UA (8, 1-4) and Darby (4, 0-5).
"We do not look toward the state meet as a goal," Kayser said. "We need to take care of the OCC first, making sure that we are competitive within our league, trying to perfect our routines and stay healthy."
Jerome has only two returnees
Jerome lost two gymnasts from last season to graduation and another who was an exchange student, but seniors Jacqueline Schroeder and Kaitlyn Willette and sophomore Jordan Schrock also did not return, drastically changing the roster.
Schrock's family moved and Willette decided to concentrate on preparing for the track and field season. Schroeder planned to return, but she underwent knee surgery last month and will miss the season.
The only returnees are sophomores Marisa Mangini and Faith Pearson.
"It's a brand new season now, and that's not what we anticipated at the end of last season," third-year coach Kristen Willms said. "But we have Marisa and Faith back and we've got three girls who compete in club with us, so we'll go from there."
Also on the team are sophomore Morgan Harmon and freshmen Maddy Haab, Elizabeth Holden, Amy Lou, Lauren Stephanic, Kelsey Sweatt and Madisson Whitmer.
"Haab and Whitmer have competed in club and both have the ability to score well," Willms said. "Both also broke a foot and will be trying to come back from that. Lou also is a club gymnast and we're working to put in tougher routines for her."
Last season, Jerome finished first (128.925) in the OCC-Capital meet, ahead of Hilliard Bradley (127.525), Big Walnut (125.6), Central Crossing (119), Olentangy Orange (118.825) and Mount Vernon (102.975), which does not have a team this season.
The Celtics went 5-0 in OCC-Capital duals and placed first in the overall league standings with 24 points, with Bradley (20, 4-1), Big Walnut (16, 2-2) and Orange (12, 2-3) rounding out the top four.
At district last year, Jerome scored a program-record 131.7 to finish eighth. Its previous record was 129.8, which had been set in the 2009-10 season.
Mangini tied for 53rd in the all-around (31.45) and Pearson finished 127th on floor (6.25).
Jerome was represented in the individual state meet by 2012 graduate Hannah Ruddle, who placed seventh (8.8) on beam at district and finished 27th (8.5) in the event at state.
"Marisa competed in club years ago but took three years off before coming to high school gymnastics last year," Willms said. "She began to pick things up again and this year it looks like she's where she finished last year already. She knows what she has to work on and is a very hard worker. I expect her to be among the top girls in the all-around at district. She's strong on floor and beam and she's got a new vault and we're working on getting her to a full layout dismount on bars.
"Faith has a lot of new skills, too," Willms said. "She's picking things up very well."
Jerome finished ninth (118.9) in the Forest Hills Flip Fest and seventh (105.7) in the nine-team Hilliard Invitational on Dec. 15 at Hilliard Davidson behind champion UA (128).
Scioto coach expects to see team 'growth'
Scioto returns all four of its gymnasts who competed in the all-around at district last season in juniors Priyanka Pandey, Breanne Rooney and Monica Xu and sophomore Carina Guzman.
At district a year ago, Rooney tied for 91st in the all-around (25.6), followed by Xu (94th, 24.85), Pandey (96th, 24.175) and Guzman (98th, 23.65). Scioto finished 23rd (98.275).
Rooney has been sidelined with an injury and was not expected to return until this month.
"Even though Breanne is still recovering from a foot injury, I can see her coming back after (winter) break and having a successful season," first-year coach Elizabeth Back said. "I hope to see her compete all-around by the end of January and hopefully qualifying to state in at least two out of the four events.
"Monica is another gymnast I can see having a great season. Her strongest event is beam, and I can see her advancing to state."
Also on the team are junior Anna Birko, sophomore Kayla Brown and freshmen Asia Evans, Celinda Morales, Anna Moreno and Sonia Pattisam.
"We have a lot of girls that are new to gymnastics this season, and I can see us having tremendous growth throughout," Back said. "We have grown a lot so far, and I am excited to see where the season takes us."
Last season, Scioto finished sixth (83.95) in the OCC-Central meet, behind Kilbourne (134.75), Olentangy Liberty (126.95), Delaware (116.075), Davidson (111.325) and Westland (92.75).
The Irish went 1-4 in league duals and were fifth (6) in the overall league standings, behind Kilbourne (24, 5-0), Liberty (20, 4-1), Davidson (14, 3-2) and Delaware (14, 2-3) and ahead of Westland (6, 0-5).
Scioto finished last (91.9) in a six-team meet behind champion Grove City (122.275) on Dec. 7 at Davidson and last (71.2) in the Hilliard Invitational. Davidson scored 118.4 on Dec. 7 in what will count as one of the Irish's league duals.