Shamrocks see room for improvement
The Dublin Coffman High School gymnastics team has had a successful season thus far, but coach Julie Kayser thinks the Shamrocks have just scratched the surface in terms of reaching their potential.
"I'm happy with what we've accomplished so far, but we still have things to work on and can be even better," Kayser said. "As a coach, you know there's always room for improvement.
"That being said, we are 56-3 (overall), 4-0 in the OCC-(Ohio Division) and first in (last week's) district poll."
Depth has propelled the Shamrocks to a higher level. They won their McGee Invitational on Jan. 12 and the Sweeney Invitational on Jan. 26 at DeSales.
"Our fifth and sixth scorers are scoring equally and it's not always the four girls in the all-around that are giving us the decisive points," Kayser said. "We've got girls from each grade class providing points, so I love our depth and our balance."
The Shamrocks had 10 gymnasts perform in the Sweeney Invitational when they scored a season-high 139.125 points to easily beat runner-up Upper Arlington (132.125) in the 14-team meet.
Competing in the all-around that day were junior Claire Edwards, sophomores Nicole Fusco and Anna Pitts and freshman Shannon Downie. Seniors Alina Carpenter and Shanna McFadden competed on the uneven bars, seniors Meigan Way and Dominika Kraszy compete on the floor exercise, Way and freshman Sumire Minagawa competed on vault with Minagawa and freshman Alaina Yost competed on the balance beam.
Fusco placed fourth (35.2) in the all-around, followed by Downie (sixth, 34.65), Edwards (eighth, 34.425) and Potts (10th, 34.0). Fusco was the only Shamrock gymnast to finish in the top three in any routine, placing third (9.075) on beam.
"We have a lot of new, talented people who are hard-working and have fit in well with the upperclassmen," Carpenter said. "We have a feeling we're going to state (as a team) and that we can perform well there.
"The team dynamic is great. A team can't succeed if there's any animosity there. We're like a family. We're friends and we get along no matter what at the end of the day. We try to do team-bonding events like sleepovers and going out for dinner. I can't say enough about how well things are going this year."
As optimistic as Kayser is about her team's potential in the postseason, she doesn't want her gymnasts to look too far ahead.
"I've seen the top five scores in the state and our (139.125) is in the middle of that," she said. "There's Brecksville(-Broadview Heights), who nobody can touch in the 147s, and then we're right there with the rest of the others. But I have cautioned the girls from looking ahead, so I'm not focusing on that, either. We need to focus on finishing off the OCC championship by beating Upper Arlington and then prepare for the district. One of our losses this season was to Worthington KIlbourne early in the year."
Coffman is 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio and will conclude its league duals Thursday, Jan. 31, at home against UA. The Shamrocks will play host to the league meet Feb. 9 before competing in the district meet Feb. 23 at Kilbourne.
The state meet is March 1 and 2 at Hilliard Bradley.
Haab, Mangini among leaders for Celtics
Jerome finished fifth in the McGee Invitational with a season-best 132.025 but had a more difficult time in the Sweeney Invitational, placing ninth with a 124.65.
Sophomore Marissa Mangini and freshman Maddy Haab are among the leaders for Jerome, which is 2-1 in the OCC-Capital and competes Saturday, Feb. 2, against league-foes Central Crossing and Franklin Heights as part of a meet at Coffman.
The OCC-Capital meet is Feb. 9 at Coffman.
Irish looking for first OCC dual win
Scioto finished 14th (107.0) in the Sweeney Invitational despite posting a higher score than when it finished 12th (102.325) in the McGee Invitational.
The Irish are 0-4 in the OCC-Central and will conclude its league duals Saturday, Feb. 2, against Westland as part of a six-team meet at Coffman.
The OCC-Central meet is Feb. 9 at Coffman.