With a roster that includes five sophomores and a freshman, Westerville Central gymnastics coach Shea Stammen said the Warhawks have steadily progressed this season.
She's hoping to see more growth heading into the OCC-Buckeye Division meet Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Hilliard Darby and the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne.
"We've shown improvement," Stammen said. "Our team scores are going back up, so we're hopefully getting to where we need to be towards reaching our goals."
Stammen said senior Kylie Nelson and sophomore Chloe Griggs have emerged as the team's top all-around competitors.
Nelson's season has been highlighted by scoring an 8.55 on the floor exercise in the Warhawk Invitational on Jan. 24 at Worthington Youth Boosters.
"Kylie is really coming on on floor," Stammen said. "She went 8.55, which getting up in the 8s is a big thing. She just works really hard. She's working on getting some more difficulty on her (balance) beam (routine) and cleaning that up. She's been one of our top kids."
Abigail Ring has been another solid contributor in the all-around, and Carly Springer has steadily improved her all-around scores, according to Stammen. Both are seniors.
"Carly is a senior, so it's the last year with her, but it's only her second year doing gymnastics," Stammen said. "It's exciting to see her really come on at the end of the season."
Sophomore Mal Lewis has contributed on floor and vault, and freshman Tatum Callow has improved in her first season, Stammen said.
Central finished sixth (115.55) in the Warhawk Invitational behind first-place Upper Arlington (130.05).
Stammen said about 100 gymnasts competed in the seven-team meet. She credits assistance from parents and her gymnasts for helping to run the meet.
"The crowd has been getting bigger (because) the kids have been getting their friends to come," Stammen said. "It's a little stressful, but I think people understand our gym is a little bit smaller. It makes for a good atmosphere."
Central finished 1-3 in OCC-Buckeye dual meets.
"The league meet brings out the best in the kids," Stammen said. "Hopefully they get pumped up and rise to the occasion and land their skills that they've been working on that sometimes in a regular meet aren't always there."
The Warhawks finished fourth (115.1) in a seven-team meet Jan. 28 at Kilbourne behind first-place Thornville Sheridan (140.35).
"What's important is getting those personal bests and improving yourself, and that makes the team get better," Stammen said.
Boys basketball team remains in title chase
The boys basketball team remains in the OCC-Buckeye title chase heading into its final two league games.
Central is 5-3 in the league and trails Westerville South and Olentangy Liberty, which are tied for first at 6-2.
The Warhawks play host to Liberty on Friday, Feb. 7, looking for a regular-season sweep. They defeated the Patriots 54-52 on Jan. 3.
Central, which was 13-5 overall before playing Gahanna on Feb. 4, closes league play Feb. 14 at South.
The Warhawks defeated Olentangy 69-62 on Jan. 31 behind 23 points from Tasos Cook. Landon Tillman scored 12 and Quincy Clark added 10.
Girls team earns three wins under new coach
The girls basketball team has earned three wins under interim coach Jermaine Hester, defeating Columbus East 38-27 on Jan. 11, Olentangy Orange 48-44 on Jan. 24 and Central Crossing 45-43 on Jan. 28.
Mabinty Kebe scored 26 points against Central Crossing. She had six points in a 32-18 loss to Olentangy on Jan. 31.
The Warhawks were 4-14 overall before playing Gahanna on Feb. 4. They are 1-7 in the OCC-Buckeye.
Central is seeded 40th for the Division I district tournament and will visit second-seeded Watterson in the first round Feb. 15.
Hester replaced Randy Patton, who stepped down last month because of personal reasons.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics and swimming & diving teams:
*Feb. 7 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty. The Warhawks defeated the Patriots 54-52 on Jan. 3.
*Feb. 7 -- At Liberty. The Warhawks lost to the Patriots 51-22 on Jan. 3.
Feb. 11 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
Feb. 11 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Darby
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 8 -- Division I sectional at Thomas Worthington. Winner of each swimming event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 13 at Ohio State. There is no diving at sectional.