Although her team lacks depth with only four athletes, Dublin Scioto gymnastics coach Kristen Willms believes the Irish could have positive individual results this season.
The Irish return just one gymnast with high school experience in junior Sara Sun, who led the team in the district meet last season by finishing 70th in the all-around (29.425 points). She has missed the early part of the season with a sprained ankle and is hoping to return to competition by January.
With Sun out of the lineup, Scioto has not been able to record a team score.
Also on the team are freshmen Kaitlyn Bassingthwaite, Elena Charria and Taylor Thacker, each of whom has competed at the club level. Charria and Thacker have competed for Gym X-Treme in Lewis Center, where Willms is a coach.
"All three are coming in with gymnastics experience," said Willms, who is in her fourth season. "Taylor was a level 9 national champion this year on floor. She has tons of potential. She's really talented."
The Irish competed in the 13-team Hilliard Invitational at Hilliard Darby on Dec. 14. Thacker finished eighth (33.55) in the all-around, placed sixth (9.0) on floor exercise and tied for 10th on both the balance beam (8.45) and uneven bars (8.3).
Charria was 15th (7.6) on vault, 16th (8.25) on beam and 29th (31.1) in the all-around.
"It's always hard to leave (club gymnastics)," Willms said. "It's just finding where you fit and where your goals align best. (Charria and Thacker) were both really good club gymnasts and I think they still love it."
Last season, the Irish finished eighth in the OCC-Cardinal Division with four points and an 0-7 record in dual meets behind champion Jerome (31, 6-1).
"Ultimately, I want (Scioto) to have a team score and I would love to see them be a little more competitive in the OCC," said Willms, who also coaches Coffman and Jerome. "It's really going to depend on how far these kids can come and how consistent they can compete because there's no one to pick up the slack. They have to hit every meet."
Willms believes Thacker has the potential to earn the program's first state individual meet berth since 2010 when Minori Minagawa and Paige Waugh competed at state.
Junior Alex Gordon, who was 82nd (28.325) in the all-around at district last year, is not back with the team this season. Juniors Tricia Klosterman and Britney Vo also did not return.
Segura wins title at Liberty Classic
Daniel Segura led the wrestling team at the Olentangy Liberty Classic held Dec. 13 and 14 by winning the 152-pound title.
Segura went 4-0 in the event, defeating Medina Highland's William Scavuzzo in the final by technical fall (20-5).
"Daniel cleaned up some things and really wrestled well (last) weekend," coach Adam Huddle said. "He is still putting in the work to improve every day. That is what makes him so special as an athlete and a person."
Donovan Hardin placed second at heavyweight for the Irish, who finished 16th (72) of 27 teams behind champion Liberty (197).
Girls basketball team off to solid start
The girls basketball team was 5-1 overall before playing Chillicothe on Dec. 18 and is 3-1 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Since opening its league schedule with a 54-48 loss at Jerome on Dec. 3, Scioto has won three consecutive OCC-Cardinal contests.
Folu Olujide-Ajibade had a team-high 11 points in a 56-36 league win at Delaware on Dec. 10, while Lauren Erickson and Olujide-Ajibade each scored 10 points in a 47-25 league victory at Darby on Dec. 13.
Erickson had 17 points in a 51-21 win over visiting DeSales on Dec. 14.
"It felt good to get Darby since they got us twice last year in two very close games," coach Jen Music said. "This team has great chemistry right now, both on and off the court. I feel like they are doing a great job sharing the ball as our scoring has been very balanced. Also, our defense has been on point for us."
Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 20 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
Dec. 21 -- Cadiz Harrison Central at Ohio University
*Dec. 20 -- At Thomas
*Dec. 21 -- Springboro at South Metro Ice
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 21 -- Canton City Schools Christmas Invitational at Branin Natatorium
Dec. 20-21 -- North Canton Hoover Holiday Tournament