The Olentangy High School gymnastics team has used depth to become one of the area’s top programs the past several years, and the Braves’ spread of talent was on display again March 1 in the state team meet at Hilliard Bradley.
Despite having only two of their 10 gymnasts competing in all four events in senior Madeline Vouis and freshman Lillian Towles, the Braves finished seventh with 138.35 points behind champion Brecksville-Broadview Heights (147.65) as 12 teams scored.
It was Olentangy’s fourth consecutive state appearance.
Vouis’ 9.075 on floor exercise was the Braves’ top score, followed closely by Wen Holmes’ 9.025 on balance beam.
Floor was Olentangy’s top event with a score of 35.15, followed by uneven bars (34.725), vault (34.425) and beam (34.05).
“Every one of (the girls) jumped in and took the lead in a different area, just like at any meet. You’ll have your ups and downs. We never know who will step up,” Braves coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews said. “They always push each other. They just know to handle this kind of atmosphere. They keep driving themselves.”
While the Bees won their 16th consecutive state championship and 20th overall, they edged runner-up Thornville Sheridan by just 1.425 points.
Led by three 9.0-plus scores from Raegan Ernst on floor (9.4), vault (9.075) and beam (9.05), Dublin Jerome finished 11th (134.475) in its second state appearance and first since 2016. Ernst also will compete in the all-around at the state individual meet March 2 at Bradley.
Izzy Willms added a 9.05 on floor and a 9.0 on vault for the Celtics.
Jerome was without one of its top competitors in Grace Krouse, who tore her right ACL and meniscus at the district meet and will undergo surgery March 5.
“We had some kids competing tonight that haven’t been in the lineup regularly in a while,” Celtics coach Kristen Willms said. “We couldn’t have done much better. We were just happy to be here.”