Grove City High School gymnastics coach Mark Hartley is confident Stephanie Fisher, Erin Maynard and Jenny Seibert will hold their own in the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne.
But for the Greyhounds to qualify for state as a team -- they didn't advance last season after winning the 2012 district title -- Hartley said they will need to find a strong fourth score on each of the four events.
The top three teams at district advance to the state meet Feb. 28 at Hilliard Bradley. The top eight individuals in each event, including the all-around, advance to the individual state meet March 1 at Bradley.
With a squad ravaged by injuries last season, Grove City placed 13th (126.9 points) in the 24-team district meet behind state-qualifiers Kilbourne (140.625), Dublin Coffman (138.925) and Thomas Worthington (136.125).
Maynard placed second on uneven bars (9.075), fourth on vault (9.2) and eighth all-around (35.2) to become the Greyhounds' only state qualifier.
"If our top three girls all hit and a fourth person steps up, we definitely have a shot for a top three spot at district," Hartley said. "Dublin Coffman and Worthington Kilbourne are way out in front of the rest of us, but us, Upper Arlington, Thomas Worthington and Olentangy have scored in the same range this year and we all have a shot at that third spot.
"For us, it will come down to finding that quality fourth score in each event. I'm not looking for one individual to do it all. It can be a different person stepping up and scoring well in each event, as long as they can come up with a big score on that event on that day."
Grove City finished second (137.75) in the OCC-Ohio Division meet Feb. 8 at Hilliard Darby, behind Coffman (143.425) and ahead of UA (136.8), Olentangy (134.65), Thomas (131.825) and Darby (128.3).
Coffman won the league with 24 points and a 5-0 record in dual meets. Grove City went 3-2 in league duals but tied UA (4-1) for second with 18 points, followed by Olentangy (12 points, 2-3), Darby (6, 1-4) and Thomas (6, 0-5).
In the league meet, Maynard won bars (9.125), tied for first on vault (9.15) and finished second all-around (35.875).
Fisher won balance beam (9.15), tied for first on vault (9.15) and finished fourth all-around (35.65).
"We definitely improved our team's overall score and (finishing ahead of) Upper Arlington was exciting," Seibert said. "Erin, Stephanie and I all did really well and got some really good scores. This will give us a lot of confidence that we can do even better at district."
Comets take seventh in league meet
Central Crossing finished seventh (117.125) in the OCC-Capital meet Feb. 8 at Darby, behind Bradley (133.85), Dublin Jerome (131.65), Westerville Central (131.025), Olentangy Orange (125.325), Big Walnut (125.325) and Marysville (121.4) and ahead of Franklin Heights (99.025).
Heather Albrecht placed 13th on vault (8.0). She also finished 20th on beam (7.65) and all-around (30.3).
Khyla Benson was 24th all-around (29.5) and Trina Evanoff was 25th all-around (29.425).
The Comets placed 19th (110.5) at district last year.