Freshman Audrey Maxwell and sophomore Regan Macerollo produced the top finishes for the Thomas Worthington High School gymnastics team in the Hilliard Invitational on Dec. 16 at Hilliard Davidson.
Maxwell and Macerollo placed 11th (8.2) and 13th (8.1), respectively, on vault to lead the Cardinals, who finished 10th (118.825) of 14 teams, behind champion Dresden Tri-Valley (131.15).
Maxwell tied for 18th in the all-around with a team-best 30.675 and Macerollo was 22nd (30.35).
"We have 16 girls who all have gymnastics backgrounds and have a great work ethic and motivation," 20th-year coach Marci Skeen said. "We do not have anyone who stands out in particular. The team is comprised of gymnasts who will compete to their strengths, and we're looking forward to a rewarding season."
Macerollo, who also placed 22nd on balance beam (7.65) in the Hilliard Invitational, is one of four returnees who competed in the all-around at district last season. She was 64th (29.625) of 90 competitors as the host Cardinals finished 16th (122.7) of 23 teams.
The other returnees who competed in the all-around at district a year ago are seniors Camryn Patton (52nd, 30.475) and Vicky Gomez (63rd, 29.675) and junior Karynne Scott (65th, 29.575).
The team's top finisher was Macire Toure (tied for 38th, 31.9), who did not return for her sophomore season.
"(Toure) was our top gymnast last year, but has decided to compete in club gymnastics this year," Skeen said. "But we have a lot of girls working hard, with a good core group of upperclassmen and a lot of young girls who are looking to contribute and help us build."
Other returnees are senior Maddie Wilkin, junior Emma Zedeker and sophomores Delia Noonan, Imani Spencer and Mei Yan Thornton.
Newcomers are sophomores Emma Clum, Chrissy Hays, Gabby McKellips and Kathryn Mierzejewski and freshmen Caroline Burrier and Macy Patton.
Skeen expects Zedeker, Burrier and Macy Patton to challenge for all-around positions.
"We've got a lot of depth in certain events," Skeen said. "I think we're strong on beam and floor (exercise), but we need to get our scores up on (uneven) bars."
Johnson should lead boys bowling team
The boys bowling team is expected to be led by sophomore Nate Johnson, who rolled a 539 three-game series to finish 68th in the Division I district tournament last season at Sawmill Lanes.
Johnson has a team-best 228 game average through two events. The Cardinals' next match isn't until Jan. 4 when they compete against Pickerington Central at Rule 3.
"Nate is capable of rolling very strong games and he is a solid spare-shooter," seventh-year coach Joe Taylor said. "He brings stability to the anchor position. He is a bowling alley rat, the first in and last out when practicing, and he's always seeking more information."
Johnson is the only returnee for the Cardinals, who finished 17th (3,709) of 20 teams at district a year ago.
Newcomers include senior A.J. Whitlach, sophomore Peri Kargiotis and freshmen Roan Norton and Luka Srsic.
"Peri has improved his swing from last year and has the potential to improve his average by 30-to-40 pins," Taylor said. "Luka is young, but has potential and rolls the ball extremely well.
"We are a young team that is still learning about high school bowling, as three of the guys are first-year bowlers, but we have great team chemistry and camaraderie. We want to have fun and be competitive."
Kargiotis has a 153 average and Srsic is averaging 135.
The Cardinals are 0-1, having lost to Pickerington North 1,899-1,633 in a Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division match Dec. 7. Their other event was the Red/Blue Classic on Dec. 2.
Girls bowling team has three returnees
The girls bowling team, which had no seniors last season, has returned three athletes who competed in the Division I sectional a year ago in senior Abby Montag and sophomores Samantha Haunty and Izabella Vazquez.
"Izabella rolls the ball extremely well and, with experience and more control, will improve greatly this season," said Taylor, who is in his second season coaching the girls team. "Samantha works very hard in practice and leads by example and Abby is never satisfied with her shot and always wants to get better."
Newcomers for Thomas, which placed 37th (2,095) of 38 teams at sectional last season, are sophomores Martha Clapp, Katie Deminoff and Ruby Matthews-Napper and freshmen Hannah Innes, Madison Keathley and Ohana Trevino.
"We want to continue to build on last year and get the first-year players involved," Taylor said. "The girls have great attitudes and strong camaraderie. They just lack experience."
The Cardinals lost to Pickerington North 1,548-1,315 in their opener Dec. 7.
Through two events, including the Red/Blue Classic on Dec. 2, Vazquez led the team with a 122 average, followed by Haunty (114.6) and Innes (112).
Boys basketball team preps for Gussler event
The boys basketball team will play host to the second annual Stephen Gussler Holiday Invitational on Dec. 28 and 29.
Joining the Cardinals in the eight-team event are Chillicothe, Cincinnati La Salle, Dover, Dublin Coffman, Dublin Jerome, Reynoldsburg and Toledo Woodward.
"The goal is two-fold," coach Sean Luzader said. "We want to keep the Gussler name ongoing and want to raise awareness and funds and donations for colon cancer. We will be donating any funds from T-shirt sales, company donations and such things to the American Cancer Society."
Play begins both days at 9:15 a.m. with junior varsity contests. Varsity contests are scheduled for 3:15 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. both days.
The Cardinals will play Woodward in the final game on Dec. 28 and Chillicothe in the final game on Dec. 29.
Thomas was 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Delaware on Dec. 19.
The Cardinals beat Whetstone 43-34 in their opener Dec. 2 before losing to Hilliard Bradley 44-16 on Dec. 8, Olentangy Orange 63-39 on Dec. 9 and Jerome 65-37 on Dec. 15.
Dec. 2 -- Red/Blue Classic at HP Lanes
*Dec. 7 -- Pickerington North at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 4 -- Pickerington Central at Rule 3
*Jan. 5 -- Centennial at Sequoia Pro Bowl
Jan. 6 -- Pioneer Baker Bash at Sawmill Lanes
*Jan. 11 -- Groveport at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 12 -- Lancaster at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 16 -- Columbus Academy at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 19 -- Delaware at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 22 -- Hilliard Bradley at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 25 -- Hilliard Darby at Capri Lanes
Jan. 27 -- Jaguar Baker Marathon at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 29 -- Columbus Academy at Capri Lanes
*Feb. 1 -- Newark at Park Lanes
Feb. 2 -- *Kilbourne and Worthington Christian at Capri Lanes
Dec. 6 -- vs. DeSales and Westerville Central
Dec. 16 -- Hilliard Invitational at Hilliard Davidson
Jan. 4 -- vs. Buckeye Valley, *Delaware and Grove City
Jan. 11 -- at Teays Valley
Jan. 18 -- vs. *Kilbourne, Olentangy and Olentangy Orange
Jan. 23 -- at Hilliard Davidson with Dresden Tri-Valley, *Hilliard Bradley and *Hilliard Darby
Jan. 27-28 -- Flip Festival at Cincinnati Anderson
Jan. 31 -- vs. Dublin Coffman, *Dublin Jerome and *Dublin Scioto
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at TBA
Feb. 15 -- vs. Marysville, Thornville Sheridan and Washington Court House Miami Trace
Below are the coming schedules for the Thomas boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
*Dec. 22 -- At Dublin Scioto
Dec. 23 -- Home vs. Watterson
*Dec. 22 -- Watterson at Chiller North
*Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome