Erin Maynard had two major reasons to feel nervous and distracted heading into the individual state gymnastics meet March 1 at Hilliard Bradley.
The Grove City High School junior woke up feeling sick the day before the event and was vomiting. Also, Maynard's teammate and best friend, junior Jenny Seibert, suffered a seizure at the meet while she was waiting to compete in the vault and had to be taken to a hospital.
Despite those setbacks, Maynard managed to tie for 12th on uneven bars (8.875), finish 18th all-around (35.2), tie for 22nd on vault (8.925) and tie for 24th on floor exercise (8.8).
"The timing of everything that happened was awful," she said. "It was frustrating because I woke up (sick Feb. 28) and I was only about 70 percent healthy for this meet. Then, my best friend, Jenny, had to leave and I was really worried about her.
"But I pulled myself back together because I worked hard to get here and I knew I had to keep it going. I didn't get my best scores here, but I'm happy with how I did overall considering the circumstances."
Seibert said March 2 that she was OK.
Maynard's state appearance capped a season of improvement for the Greyhounds.
In the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne, Maynard finished second on bars (9.025), tied for second on vault (9.35), placed third all-around (36.2) and finished seventh on floor (9.05), and Seibert tied for fifth on vault (9.325). The top eight individuals in each event, including the all-around, advanced to state.
The top three district teams advanced to the team state meet Feb. 28 at Bradley, and the Greyhounds fell one spot short, placing fourth (136.325) of 26 teams behind Dublin Coffman (143.85), Kilbourne (141.025) and Upper Arlington (137.7).
With a squad ravaged by injuries last season, Grove City placed 13th of 24 teams at district a year after winning the district title.
Other top performances for Grove City at district were Seibert on balance beam (tied for 14th, 8.85), bars (22nd, 8.15) and all-around (13th, 35.05); junior Stephanie Fisher on floor (tied for 13th, 8.925), beam (17th, 8.725), vault (16th, 9.125), bars (20th, 8.15) and all-around (14th, 34.925); and Maynard on beam (16th, 8.775).
The Greyhounds 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 Worthington (131.825) and Darby (128.3).
Coffman won the league with 24 points and a 5-0 record in duals. Grove City went 3-2 in 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 beam (9.15), tied for first on vault (9.15) and finished fourth all-around (35.65).
"We stayed healthy and vastly improved over last year," coach Mark Hartley said. "There isn't a whole lot more we could have done this year. They worked hard and as a team we scored well."
The Greyhounds lose two seniors in Beth Ledbetter and Alexis McCoy, but the rest of the team is expected to return.
"Beth specialized on beam and Alexis was one of our top scorers on floor and vault for the last four years, and they both will be missed," Hartley said. "Next year looks good. We will be returning a whole lot of juniors, so I am excited about what we can do next year. This has been a very rewarding season."
Comets conclude season at district
Central Crossing placed 19th (117.875) at district and none of its individuals finished in the top eight of any event.
Senior Katrina Evanoff led the Comets by finishing 60th all-around (30.95) and tying for 63rd on beam (7.65), 62nd on bars (7.05) and 54th on vault (8.2).
The Comets also 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).
Senior Heather Albrecht placed 13th on vault (8.0). She also finished 20th on beam (7.65) and all-around (30.3).
Junior Khyla Benson was 24th all-around (29.5) and Evanoff was 25th all-around (29.425).
Bradley went 6-1 in league duals and totaled 30 points to edge Jerome (28, 6-1) for first. Central (26, 6-1) was third, followed by Orange (20, 4-3), Big Walnut (16, 3-4) Central Crossing (10, 2-5), Marysville (10, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (4, 0-7).