Worthington Kilbourne’s Hannah Hale and Dublin Scioto’s Taylor Thacker both turned in a fourth-place finish to lead area competitors in the state individual gymnastics meet Feb. 29 at Hilliard Bradley.

Hale, a senior, placed fourth on balance beam with a 9.375, while Thacker, a freshman, tied Medina Highland’s Paige Yu for fourth on floor exercise with a 9.475.

“I’m ecstatic because I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Hale said. “I thought I had a good score, but I saw a lot of other good scores so it wasn’t something I expected.”

Thacker also was surprised to finish in the top six to reach the awards podium.

“I thought my performance was good, but I was watching everyone else and they had good performances as well,” Thacker said. “After watching everyone, I think I need to be more enthusiastic next year.”

Dublin Jerome sophomore Raegan Ernst was the area’s top performer in the all-around, placing ninth with a 36.725. Last season, she tied for 12th (36.225) at state.

“I definitely think I did better than I did last year,” Ernst said. “It just happened that the scores were so much higher this year. I didn’t make it up on the podium, but overall I did way better than I did last year.”

Also in the all-around, Hale placed 16th (36.2), Dublin Coffman freshman Emily Yoshino tied for 17th (36.175) and Olentangy Berlin senior Olivia Boone finished 23rd (35.275).

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