Other than the fact that the Olentangy High School gymnastics team again made history March 2, what made coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews so proud of the Braves’ fifth-place finish in the team state meet at Hilliard Bradley was that none of her athletes competed in all four events.
With only four of 13 athletes competing in more than two disciplines, the Braves amassed a school-record 140.825 points in their third consecutive state appearance. Olentangy had finished ninth in its first state appearance in 2016 and seventh last year.
A senior class consisting of Megan Baldwin, Claire Harrington, Lexi Jesenovec, Stephanie Miller and Ellie Morgan was the backbone of that run, although strong performances by sophomore Olivia Boone on floor exercise (9.2) and balance beam (9.1), junior Wen Holmes on beam (9.2) and junior Madeline Vouis on floor (9.1) boosted the Braves’ point total March 2.
“For this caliber of a team to not have any all-arounders just shows (our) depth,” Lloyd-Matthews said. “On beam … we had very few falls. They just went after it. They had such composure. Beam can be the event that makes or breaks you and rattles you, and they went out there as a whole and didn’t let anything scare them.”More video •Olentangy's Stephanie Miller
Brecksville-Broadview Heights (146.7) won its 15th consecutive state title and 19th overall, while Thornville Sheridan (142.7), Mentor (142.55) and Rocky River Magnificat (141.25) rounded out the top four in the 12-team meet.
Led by seniors Reagan Beard, Elisa Reed and Greta Planck, Bradley finished 11th (132.8) in its first state appearance. Planck scored 8.825 on vault and 8.725 on floor, both team bests.
The Jaguars had finished fourth at district each of the past three years, one spot shy of qualifying for state.
“They were very solid with minimal mistakes,” Bradley coach Carol Eskay said. “We’ve been close for a while and we knew we had the potential to get here, but we kept it relaxed.”