Gymnastics: Grove City Greyhounds to get lift from deep roster

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Senior Sophie Legue is one of the top returnees for Grove City, whose season has been delayed because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Greyhounds are scheduled to compete Jan. 20 at Marysville.

With 16 girls on the roster, including several returnees, 25th-year Grove City gymnastics coach Mark Hartley is optimistic his team will again have success.

“We’ve had really strong numbers for the last several years,” Hartley said. “Ever since we went from one year when we had about six, we’ve been hovering around the 18, 20 mark the last two, three years.”

Leading the returnees are seniors Genavieve Kuhn and Sophie Legue and junior Emma Claypool. Kuhn (30.75 points) and Claypool (29.025) both competed in the all-around in last season’s district meet, where Grove City finished 13th (125.725).

“I always look forward to the winter so I can be with my team,” Legue said. “I always miss them during the year, so this is my favorite time of the year. … Our goal this year is to get some higher scores than previous years, have the girls work on their skills and improve their skills more than in the past, especially the older girls, the seniors.”

Also back are seniors Savanna Rudacille and Kamya Wilson, juniors Madelyn Boyden, Breanna Dunn, Marissa Rock and Morgan Waterman and sophomores Natalie Foltz and Emma Weaver. Senior Gianna Nickoloff, sophomore Miriam Sturgill and freshmen Madison Harding, Madeline Nixon and Ava Renicker round out the roster.

Legue credits Hartley for the team’s development.

“He’s a really fun coach,” she said. “We’re always coming to practice and we work hard, but he makes it fun, really enjoyable for the girls as a team.”

The Greyhounds are competing in the OCC-Central Division with Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Bradley, Olentangy Orange, Upper Arlington, Westerville Central and Westland.

Last season, Grove City finished third in the OCC-Central at 10-4 with 24 points, behind champion UA (32, 14-0).

The start of the season has been delayed because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, with the Greyhounds scheduled to compete Jan. 20 at Marysville.

“We’re trying to stay positive and stay hopeful that we’re going to get at least a few meets this year,” Legue said. “There are a few freshmen who are really looking forward to trying out gymnastics this year, so we’re just trying to stay positive and work hard in the gym for as long as we can.”

Hartley said the schedule could be revised with meets added.

“The ultimate goal is just to be able to have a season,” he said.

A key loss to graduation was Anna Stoll, who led the Greyhounds at district last winter by finishing 39th in the all-around (32.675). 

—Frank DiRenna 

Sophomore Mikayla Spring is one of five returnees for Central Crossing, which is scheduled to open Jan. 6 at Marysville.

Juniors, sophomores

to lead Comets

Central Crossing has five returnees from a year ago as it looks to improve on a season in which it tied Hilliard Davidson for fourth (18, 7-7) in the OCC-Central.

Those returnees are juniors Hope Groves, Hannah Jennings and Taylor Redden and sophomores Andrea Norris and Mikayla Spring. 

“All of our returners are sophomores and juniors, and they’re a versatile group,” said assistant coach Brittany Maynard, the daughter of 19th-year coach Lavon Maynard. “We’re looking at a pretty talented all-around group. They should be our top scorers and be able to compete in the all-around.”

The Comets have 12 competitors after having 11 last season. The roster includes one senior in Megan Reedy, three juniors and four each in the sophomore and freshman classes. 

One of the freshmen, Aaielyah Horne, should make an immediate impact.

“Aaielyah comes to us with some club background,” Brittany Maynard said. “She should be one of the top scorers for us.”

Groves and Redden will have leadership roles.

“Taylor and Hope have been here for three years now, and they know what to expect,” Brittany Maynard said. “Both of them are doing a great job of making sure the younger kids are in the gym and working on things. 

“They might not be seniors, but they have a leadership role and they help out the new underclassman recruits. We have quite a few freshmen.”

Sophomores Paula Rangel and Mackenzie Scott and freshmen Alayna Gunning, Ahlam Matari and Arabella Self round out the roster.

“We definitely have previous high school experience from the sophomores and juniors, and they know what high school gymnastics is all about,” Brittany Maynard said. “It’s nice to have them be able to share that experience and that background knowledge.”

The Comets are scheduled to open Jan. 6 at Marysville.

“The girls are eager to start competing,” Brittany Maynard said. “When that day comes they’re going to be ready, and I’m expecting good things to happen when we get there.”

At the district meet last season, Central Crossing finished 19th of 23 teams with 120.125 points. 

—Scott Hennen

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@ThisWeekSPORTS

CENTRAL CROSSING

Coach: Lavon Maynard, 19th season

Top athletes: Hope Groves, Hannah Jennings, Andrea Norris, Taylor Redden and Mikayla Spring

Key loss: Haylee Snodgrass

2019-20 OCC-Central standings: Upper Arlington (32, 14-0), Marysville (28, 12-2), Grove City (24, 10-4), Central Crossing and Hilliard Davidson (18, 7-7), Westland (12, 4-10), Dublin Coffman (8, 2-12), Franklin Heights (4, 0-14)

2020 postseason: 19th at district

GROVE CITY

Coach: Mark Hartley, 25th season

Top athletes: Emma Claypool, Genavieve Kuhn and Morgan Waterman

Key losses: Bailey Bennett and Anna Stoll

2020 postseason: 13th at district