The biggest enemy for Dublin Coffman High School junior gymnast Katie Strand has often been her own two feet. She kept her balance last Saturday at the Hilliard Invitational at Bradley.

The biggest enemy for Dublin Coffman High School junior gymnast Katie Strand has often been her own two feet. She kept her balance last Saturday at the Hilliard Invitational at Bradley.

She won the floor with a 9.075 and tied Bradley's Kayla Malik for first on the uneven bars (8.65) to win the all-around (34.55).

Making their debut at the 16-team invitational, the Shamrocks scored 129.7 points to finish ahead of Grove City (127.1) and Hilliard Darby (125.05) to win the title.

"I've fallen at every one of our meets before, but I didn't fall on the beam or on the bars today," Strand said. "It gives you a good idea of what you need to work on during the break. It was a good end (to the first part of our season)."

Strand, who tied Grove City's Nicole Saunders for 19th (8.95) on floor at last year's state meet, also placed fifth on beam (8.6) and eighth (8.225) on vault.

The Shamrocks had the invitational's best team scores on the balance beam (33.275) and the floor (33.05), but coach Julie Kayser said she was really impressed with how her team competed on the vault.

Coffman had the fifth-best score (32.2) on the vault.

"The vault was one of the high points of the day," Kayser said. "We didn't have the best scores, but the vaults were cleaner.

"We tried a lot of new skills today. Some worked and some didn't. That's what we are looking for at this point in the season."

Grove City, which won the team title last year, used a strong performance in the beam to place second. Megan Bock (8.925), Angela Hughes (8.75) and Miranda Gaitten (8.875) placed first, second and third, respectively, on the beam. Kimmy Eakins (8.35) placed ninth for the Greyhounds.

"Our beam was phenomenal. They did an excellent job with it. (In a 129.7-124.425 loss to Coffman on Dec. 16), we had 10 falls on beam," Grove City coach Mark Hartley said. "I think we had four beam routines today that hit solid. They got it together."

"I thought I did really well today," said Gaitten, who was first (8.575) on the vault and third (8.15) on bars. "I stuck my beam routine and did well in vault today. I had never done that vault before. I thought I stepped up my game."

Not many of the area's gymnastics teams compete during the winter break.

Thomas coach Marci Skeen, whose team placed fourth (121.35), and Kilbourne coach Cindy Fushimi, whose team took fifth (120.425), said the Hilliard Invitational was a perfect way to close out to the first half of the season.

"The girls saw what is out around the district. Now it gives them something to look forward to," Skeen said. "The bulk of our season is coming up after this meet, so I think we will do fine."

Fushimi said she entered most of her gymnasts in one or two events, but the invitational exposed her team to the level of talent in central Ohio.

"We like this meet because we get everyone in to compete," she said. "It is kind of more relaxed event for the girls because they only have to focus in on one or two events.

"I think it does provide a little inspiration as we go into the winter break. They realize what other kids are doing and where they need to improve and where they need to pick up their difficulty on a couple of events."

At a glance

Below are the results from the Hilliard Invitational, which was last Saturday at Bradley:

Team scores: 1. Dublin Coffman (DC) 129.7; 2. Grove City (GC) 127.1; 3. Hilliard Darby 125.05; 4. Thomas Worthington 121.35; 5. Worthington Kilbourne 120.425; 6. Hilliard Bradley (HB) 119.325; 7. Olentangy 118.475; 8. Upper Arlington 117.025; 9. Big Walnut 113.825; 10. Dublin Jerome 113.325; 11. Buckeye Valley 112.975; 12. Heath 110.625; 13. Delaware 109.4; 14. Hilliard Davidson 105.675; 15. Hilliard Blue 93.6 and Grandview 89.025.

Individual champions: Vault -- Miranda Gaitten (GC) 8.875; Bars -- Katie Strand (DC) and Kayla Malik (HB) 8.65; Beam -- Megan Bock (GC) 8.925; Floor -- Strand (DC) 9.075; All-around -- Strand (DC) 34.55