The Dublin Jerome High School gymnastics team will make its second appearance in the team state meet and Olentangy will make its fourth consecutive appearance.
Thornville Sheridan won its third district title in a row, scoring 145.205 points in the district meet Feb. 23 at Worthington Kilbourne to finish ahead of runner-up Jerome (139.8) and third-place Olentangy (139.65). First-year Olentangy Berlin (138.6) and Hilliard Darby (135.175) rounded out the top five as the top three advanced to the team state meet March 1 at Hilliard Bradley.
“We made it to state three years ago, but this is the highest placement we’ve had and I think it may be the best team score we had in program history,” said Jerome coach Kristen Willms, who also coaches Dublin Coffman and Dublin Scioto. “We had a 138.9 in the (OCC-Cardinal Division meet Feb. 9) and I didn’t think we would reach that today because we made some mistakes on (balance) beam.
“But the girls didn’t let that rattle them and they had some of the best vault scores we’ve had all season. I’m very proud of them for keeping their spirits up after the beam and finishing the day strong.”
Freshman Raegan Ernst led the Celtics, finishing first in both the all-around (36.65) and floor exercise (9.45), placing second on uneven bars (9.35) and finishing third on vault (9.175).
“I had my highest score of the season on bars and floor and I had a solid vault, but I fell on my beam,” Ernst said. “But I’ll take this. I wasn’t really expecting to win it today. I just wanted to be among the leaders in every event.”
The top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the individual state meet March 2 at Bradley.
Jerome’s Grace Krouse won vault (9.275) and tied for seventh on floor (9.025) to tie Darby’s Anne Hassay for fifth in the all-around (35.7). However, Krouse was on crutches after the meet.
“I got hurt on my second attempt on vault, but I think I just twisted my knee,” she said. “I’ll ice it up and rest up for next week and hopefully be ready to go. But I’m still happy and excited about today and making it to states. I had so much fun with my teammates and we all did so well.”
Olentangy advanced as a team despite having no state qualifiers in the all-around. Madeline Voius placed second on beam (9.125), Jaedyn Tucker tied for fifth on floor (9.1) and Wen Holmes finished sixth on vault (9.0) to lead the Braves.
“Olentangy had a tremendous day,” said Braves coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews, who also coaches DeSales. “They mesh together well and have different strengths. Every person pulls through in their own ways in their specific events and that works great for the team. They have a lot of grit and a never-give-up attitude. That spirit truly makes them a team.”
While Berlin was edged by Olentangy for the final berth in the team state meet, the Bears will be represented in the individual state meet by Olivia Boone and Abby Marks.
“The girls had a season-high score and it’s been an amazing first year, especially without any seniors,” Berlin coach Jen Hedrick said. “The girls continue to get better and Olivia finally had a day where she hit just about all of her events.”
Boone, who competed for Olentangy last season, placed seventh in the all-around (35.65), tied Kilbourne’s Emily Mosic for seventh on vault (8.95) and tied Sheridan’s Sarah Snider for seventh on floor (9.025). Marks placed fourth on bars (9.1).
“I had my season-best (score) on bars and finally went over 9.0 on floor,” Boone said. “I’m extremely happy how things went today. I’m very proud of this team and we nearly made it to state as a team, but Olentangy deserves it. But we left it out there and we’ll be going for it next year because we’ll all be back.”
Delaware’s Rachel White placed third on beam (9.1), Hassay was fourth on both beam (9.075) and floor (9.125), Mosic finished sixth on beam (9.05) and Jerome’s Izzy Willms was eighth on bars (8.825).