With only three girls on the roster, Westland High School gymnastics coach Lavon Maynard is focusing on refining the skills of her athletes.

With only three girls on the roster, Westland High School gymnastics coach Lavon Maynard is focusing on refining the skills of her athletes.

The Cougars opened the season last Monday at Hilliard Bradley in a quad meet that also included Central Crossing and Hilliard Davidson.

Senior Ashley Keith and freshman Brenna Nutini were the lone Westland competitors. Senior Bethany Emmons also is on the roster, but she's not expected to compete until after Jan. 1 as she rehabilitates a bulging disc in her back.

Keith and Nutini combined for 46.85 points at Bradley, which finished first with 124.550 points, followed by Central Crossing (82.25), Davidson (49.40) and Westland.

Maynard also coaches the Central Crossing team.

Keith had a 7.4 on vault, 7.0 on floor, 6.05 on beam and 4.7 on bars for a 25.15 all-around score.

"You have to work with what you've got, so we try to make the best of it," Keith said. "I'm very impatient with everything, but I'm clearly getting better and just trying to stay positive with what happens."

It was Nutini's first gymnastics meet. She scored a 7.55 on vault, 6.6 on floor, 4.35 on beam and 3.2 on bars for a 21.7 all-around score.

"The first meet scores were good and I know we can improve on them," said Maynard, who is in her 11th season at Westland.

The Cougars return to action Jan. 6 when they compete in a five-team meet at Miami Trace along with Central Crossing, Grove City and Washington Court House.

Nutini's goals in gymnastics include improving her tumbling skills on floor, which should help lead to improvement in cheerleading. A goal she shares with her teammates.

"Cheerleading is starting to take over the gymnastics world," Maynard said. "The kids are still active, but gymnastics is more time consuming. You have to put in lots of hours."

Westland finished sixth (104.300) at the OCC-Central meet last season behind Worthington Kilbourne (131.025), Olentangy Liberty (130.250), Davidson (128.350), Dublin Scioto (127.300) and Delaware (115.975).

Westland was 20th (97.825) at district behind first-place DeSales (135.325) and ahead of Grandview (94.075) and Thornville Sheridan (65.450).

Keith led the team at district with a 25.425 all-around score.

•The wrestling team is using a challenging regular-season schedule to prepare for what it hopes will be a successful postseason.

"Everything is about getting to the sectional, district and state," coach Bret Busby said.

The Cougars were sixth at the Harry Steel Classic at London High School on Dec. 11, finishing behind champion West Jefferson, Clyde, Westerville North, Sidney and London.

Westland was 0-5 in the dual meet tournament. West Jefferson defeated Clyde 36-28 in the title match.

The Cougars had several bright spots, led by senior Scottie Haslam, who was 4-0 at 125 pounds, with all wins coming by pin. Haslam turned in a strong effort despite competing with a broken finger sustained during the Wazie Tournament at Mount Vernon on Dec. 4.

"We wrestled hard, but we did take our lumps," Busby said. "We went to an extremely difficult dual tournament."

Westland, which competed in the Wolfpack Classic at Kilbourne last Saturday, will participate in the West Jefferson Invitational on Dec. 28-29. The field also includes Grove City, Westerville Central and Clyde.

Last season, West Jefferson won the district title (285) at Utica and finished fourth (56) at the Division III state tournament behind champion Monroeville (116).

West Jefferson is ranked No. 1 in the Division III area coaches poll.

"We're excited about going to the West Jefferson tournament," Busby said. "We know that it is an extremely difficult tournament, but we're going to go in with our heads up, fighting hard and each day we get a little bit better with a little more understanding of the philosophy of being on the mat. Our kids are very well conditioned, very professional. I'm very happy with that part."

Busby said plans have begun to form a youth wrestling club at Westland. Additional details will be available later.

"We're excited about bringing back peewee wrestling to Westland," he said.