A year after winning its first district championship since 1983, the Grove City High School gymnastics team has had to alter its postseason goals.
The Greyhounds will head into the district meet Feb. 23 at Worthington Kilbourne focusing more on achieving individual success rather than team success.
That's because Grove City hasn't been able to replace the scoring of 2012 graduates Miranda Gaitten and Angela Hughes and its top three gymnasts have missed all or most of the season because of injuries.
Sophomore Alana Freeman is out for the season with a back injury sustained while competing on the balance beam during a club meet during the offseason.
In the opening meet Dec. 7, sophomore Jenny Seibert injured her back while competing on the uneven bars and freshman Lily Reed severely sprained an ankle as she competed on the floor exercise. Coach Mark Hartley doesn't expect Seibert or Reed to return in time to compete at district.
At district, the top three teams advance to the team state meet March 1 at Hilliard Bradley and the top nine finishers in each event, including the all-around, qualify for the individual state meet March 2 at Bradley.
"(Sophomore) Erin Maynard should make it to state, but probably no one else on our team will," senior Katie Haines said. "We've just had too many injuries this year, and a lot of our girls have missed meets because they were sick, so we've never been able to get up to full strength.
"Erin could go to state (in the) all-around if she hits at district. I'm going to try to place on floor and (sophomore) Hope (Stocker) should do well on floor, too."
Last season, Grove City won the district title with a program-record 140.075 points, as Dublin Coffman (139.3) and Thomas Worthington (137.45) secured the other two state berths.
Maynard won the all-around (35.9) and bars (9.35) and placed second on vault (9.375). Seibert placed seventh in the all-around (35.1) and fifth on beam (8.925) and Gaitten tied for sixth on floor (9.0) and tied for eighth on vault (9.125).
"This year, we just want to score well enough to make sure we don't finish low in the team standings," Haines said. "We want to make Mark proud."
The Greyhounds scored 108.5 points to finish last in the OCC-Ohio Division meet Feb. 9 at Thomas Worthington, behind Coffman (141.2), Thomas (134.8), Olentangy (131.7), Upper Arlington (131.7) and Hilliard Darby (123.85).
Grove City, which went 1-4 in league duals, tied Darby (0-5) for fifth in the final OCC-Ohio standings with six points, behind Coffman (24, 5-0), Thomas (20, 4-1), Olentangy (15, 3-2) and UA (13, 2-3).
Maynard competed in only two events because of a sore knee, placing third on bars (8.925) and 15th on beam (8.0).
Haines finished 13th on floor (8.275), 20th on vault (7.75), 22nd on beam (7.325), 20th in the all-around (29.2) and 26th on bars (5.85), Stocker finished 17th on floor (8.075), 21st on bars (6.35), 23rd on vault (7.65) and in the all-around (28.125) and 30th on beam (6.05) and junior Hunter Hand finished 17th on bars (6.55) and 23rd on vault (7.65) and in the all-around (28.125).
"Our team has pretty much fallen apart with all of the injuries we've had," Hartley said. "Erin wasn't able to throw her double-back dismount on bars, but she still placed third with an injured knee. Katie had a real good meet, even though she fell on beam once. And Hope had a good floor routine."
Comets look to end season on high note
Central Crossing coach Lavon Maynard would like to see her team produce its highest score of the season when it competes at district.
Last year, the Comets finished 17th (119.575) at district, as Makayla Mattox qualified for state by placing sixth on beam (8.825) and tying for sixth on floor (9.0).
Mattox did not return for her junior season.
"None of our girls has making state as their main goal, but they all want to beat their high scores for this season," coach Maynard said. "A 109 is our highest team score this year, so we'd like to beat that at district."
The Comets scored 104.35 points to finish last in the OCC-Capital meet Feb. 9 at Thomas, behind Bradley (128.925), Dublin Jerome (122.85), Olentangy Orange (120.05), Franklin Heights (107.525) and Big Walnut (105.5).
Central Crossing, which went 2-3 in league duals, finished fifth in the final OCC-Capital standings with eight points, behind Bradley (24, 5-0), Orange (18, 4-1), Jerome (18, 3-2) and Franklin Heights (10, 1-4) and ahead of Big Walnut (6, 0-5).
Sophomore Khyla Benson finished ninth on vault (7.8), 10th on floor (7.75), 12th on beam (7.0) and in the all-around (28.65) and 16th on bars (6.1). Junior Heather Albrecht finished 13th on floor (7.6), 16th on bars (6.1), 17th on vault (7.2), 18th in the all-around (27.05) and 19th on beam (6.15) and senior Arrica Philebaum finished 18th on floor (7.0) and beam (6.25), 19th on bars (5.3) and 21st on vault (6.3) and in the all-around (24.85).
Central Crossing competed in the league meet without its top performer, junior Trina Evanoff, who had to sit out because of a sore back. In addition to Albrecht, Benson and Philebaum, the Comets had only three other healthy gymnasts in senior Alyssa Whitlock, and juniors Rosa Cabera and Rachel Click.
"We all have our own special events, but as a team we do best on vault and floor," Benson said.