A year after being edged out for a qualifying spot, the Olentangy Berlin gymnastics team has reached the state team meet.

The Bears scored 139.275 points in the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne to place second behind Thornville Sheridan (144.55), as the top three teams advanced to state Friday, Feb. 28, at Hilliard Bradley.

Sheridan won the district title for the fourth consecutive season. Dublin Jerome (138.775) finished third, edging fourth-place Kilbourne (138.75) for the final state berth, while Olentangy placed fifth (133.325), snapping a four-year streak of reaching state.

Last season as a first-year program, Berlin finished fourth (138.6) at district as Olentangy (139.65) earned the final state berth.

“We were so close last year, and we were not going to let that happen again,” said Berlin coach Jen Hedrick, who was named district Coach of the Year. “What’s amazing is we still didn’t have some of our top competitors that would normally be doing all-around for us. The depth of this team was unreal. The way the girls in the fifth and sixth spots helped us was key. Depth was the absolute key.”

For the second consecutive season, Jerome’s Raegan Ernst won the all-around championship, scoring 37.425 to finish ahead of runner-up Madison Snider (36.95) of Sheridan. Ernst won balance beam (9.35) and uneven bars (9.45) and was runner-up on floor exercise (9.425) and vault (9.2).

The top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the individual state meet Saturday, Feb. 29, at Bradley.

“It’s kind of weird because I’m only a sophomore and it’s not something I expected,” said Ernst, who tied for 12th in the all-around (36.225) at state last season. “It’s so exciting because I have done gymnastics for so long.

“I’m really excited about competing (at state) this time because last year I didn’t know what to expect. Also, it’s exciting to go there with my team. The feeling of having everyone there to support you is a lot more fun than being there as an individual.”

Kilbourne’s Hannah Hale was fourth in the all-around (36.525), tying for third on beam (9.3) and placing fourth on vault (9.1) and eighth on both bars (8.9) and floor (9.225). Berlin’s Olivia Boone was seventh in the all-around (36.1) after placing third on floor (9.35) and tying for third on beam (9.3).

“It honestly feels amazing (to qualify for state as a team),” Boone said. “We didn’t track scores or anything. We were just out there doing what we know how to do. That’s all we could do. We had no idea (that we were runners-up) because (the officials) didn’t place all of the scores up.

“We were sitting back wondering what’s going to happen, and we thought we were in third from the parents’ scoring. But when Jerome had a 138, we knew we had a 139. It was the best feeling. We’re going to party, have fun and celebrate tonight.”

Dublin Coffman’s Emily Yoshino was eighth in the all-around (35.825) after tying for fourth on floor (9.3) and placing fifth on beam (9.15) and eighth on vault (8.875).

Berlin’s Stephanie Balthaser placed ninth in the all-around (35.55) and fourth on bars (9.125), and Dublin Scioto freshman Taylor Thacker finished first on floor (9.5) and 18th in the all-around (34.0).

Other state alternates as a result of placing ninth were Kilbourne’s Emily Mosic on vault (8.85) and Delaware’s Rachel White on beam (9.05).

Hedrick is excited about the Bears getting their first chance to compete at state as a team. She said the pressure is off and that they are ready to do their best.

“We don’t care how we do when we get there,” Hedrick said. “Our goal was to make state and now we’ll do the best we can and give it all we got. That’s what we’re looking for when we get there.”

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Team results (top three qualify for state)

1. Thornville Sheridan 144.55; 2. Olentangy Berlin 139.275; 3. Dublin Jerome 138.775; 4. Worthington Kilbourne 138.75; 5. Olentangy 133.325; 6. Olentangy Liberty 132.775; 7. (tie) Hilliard Darby and Upper Arlington 131.675; 9. Dresden Tri-Valley 131.375; 10. Olentangy Orange 130.0; 11. Hilliard Bradley 129.8; 12. Marysville 128.025; 13. Grove City 125.725; 14. Delaware 124.85; 15. Dublin Scioto 124.775; 16. Hilliard Davidson 124.425; 17. Thomas Worthington 124.325; 18. Washington Court House Miami Trace 121.5; 19. Central Crossing 120.125; 20. DeSales 119.325; 21. Westerville Central 116.05; 22. Westland 102.05; 23. Franklin Heights 95.7; 24. Dublin Coffman 86.95; 25. Marion Harding 82.225; 26. West Lafayette Ridgewood 65.85; 27. Big Walnut 55.6

Individual state qualifiers

All-around: 1. Raegan Ernst (Jerome) 37.425; 2. Madison Snider (Sheridan) 36.95; 3. Rylee Rodich (Sheridan) 36.875; 4. Hannah Hale (Kilbourne) 36.525; 5. Camryn Varner (Marion Pleasant) 36.375; 6. Sarah Snider (Sheridan) 36.275; 7. Olivia Boone (Berlin) 36.1; 8. Emily Yoshino (Coffman) 35.825

Vault: 1. M. Snider 9.275; 2. Ernst 9.2; 3. Rodich 9.125; 4. Hale 9.1; 5. Varner 9.05; 6. (tie) S. Snider and Olivia Combs (Tri-Valley) 8.95; 8. Yoshino 8.875

Uneven bars: 1. Ernst 9.45; 2. Rodich 9.325; 3. Varner 9.175; 4. Stephanie Balthaser (Berlin) 9.125; 5. M. Snider 9.1; 6. (tie) S. Snider and Grace Gottwalt (Ridgewood) 8.95; 8. Hale 8.9

Balance beam: 1. Ernst 9.35; 2. M. Snider 9.325; 3. (tie) Boone and Hale 9.3; 5. Yoshino 9.15; 6. Rodich 9.125; 7. S. Snider 9.1; 8. Makenzie Fitzgerald (Harding) 9.075

Floor exercise: 1. Taylor Thacker (Scioto) 9.5; 2. Ernst 9.425; 3. Boone 9.35; 4. (tie) Rodich and Yoshino 9.3; 6. S. Snider 9.275; 7. M. Snider 9.25; 8. Hale 9.225