Westerville News & Public Opinion

Gymnastics

Central thriving in first season

By

For the first time in 10 years, a Westerville high school is fielding a gymnastics team.

Central, which formed a program within the last few months, is comprised of five girls who are current or former club gymnasts.

The Warhawks train and hold home meets at Worthington Youth Boosters Gymnastics and Dance, where coach Shea Stammen has served as the gymnastics director for the past 12 years.

Gymnastics is considered a club sport by Westerville City Schools and, thus, the team is self-funded. However, the gymnasts are eligible to receive letters for participation and the team can use the school's facilities, athletics director Andy Ey said.

"(The program) came together this fall," said Stammen, a former level 9 gymnast. "There was a lot of stress at first because they do all the scheduling in the spring, so we had to get on the OCC schedule and get meets in last minute, so that was kind of difficult, but it all worked out."

North had a team through the 2003-04 season, after which its program was disbanded because of low participation. The Warriors were represented individually in certain regular-season meets and the district meet the next two seasons by 2006 graduate Katie Cogswell.

Natalie Masi, the only senior on the team, remains a member of Buckeye Gymnastics, a club team in Westerville.

Also on the team are junior Jeni Schorling, sophomores Ali Daugherty and Lyndsey Dillabaugh and freshman Taylor Stills.

Stills remains a recreational gymnast at Worthington Youth Boosters Gymnastics and Dance while the other three are former members of Buckeye Gymnastics.

"The requirements are different in high school, so they've had to adjust to different requirements," Stammen said. "They're getting used to the different rules, so we're trying some new things. A couple of them have gotten new skills that they've never done to try and get bonus (points) and get that start value requirement."

Central opened Dec. 9 by finishing third (126.85 points) in a seven-team meet behind Hilliard Bradley (130.2) and host Hilliard Darby (128.25).

Stills placed second on floor exercise (8.7) and fourth in all-around (33.55).

The Warhawks finished fifth (128.7) in the 12-team Hilliard Invitational on Dec. 14 at Darby behind champion Upper Arlington (132.575), with Dillabaugh and Stills placing seventh (33.5) and 10th (32.775), respectively, in all-around.

Central then finished first (127.9) in a home tri-meet Dec. 11 against Buckeye Valley (124.35) and Olentangy Orange (121.5).

In that meet, Dillabaugh finished first on balance beam (8.5) and second in all-around (32.95), Stills placed first on floor (9.05) and Daugherty finished second on uneven bars (7.9).

Central is competing in the OCC-Capital Division with Big Walnut, Bradley, Central Crossing, Dublin Jerome, Franklin Heights, Marysville and Orange.

The Warhawks are 2-1 in the league, having beaten Orange on Dec. 11 and Franklin Heights (69.15) on Dec. 9 and having lost to Bradley on Dec. 9.

"We're doing pretty good," Masi said. "It's fun. High school is way different (than club). In high school, everybody cheers for each other and not just cheering for Buckeye in club. We cheer for other teams, too. We're just trying to do our best."

Comments