Westland Roundup: Gymnasts showing strong work ethic

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Junior Emilie Adams is one of five Westland gymnasts with varsity experience. "Every girl on the team is willing to do what it takes to make sure that the team is successful," assistant coach Brittany Maynard said.

According to assistant coach Brittany Maynard, the Westland gymnastics team “is willing to do what it takes” to improve its skill level and have an enjoyable experience this season.

Maynard is the daughter of coach Lavon Maynard, who is in her 21st season. She has returned to the Cougars after guiding the Upper Arlington program for two seasons.

“With a small team, our main goal is to make sure that we have a team score on every event,” said Brittany Maynard, who is a reading teacher in South-Western City Schools. “The girls are adapting really well. Every girl on the team is willing to do what it takes to make sure that the team is successful. Knowing that as a coach, that’s really rewarding for a coach to have kids that are willing to jump in and do what they can.”

The Cougars return five gymnasts with varsity experience, and Brittany Maynard expects sophomores Emily France and Chloe Sanchez to be the team’s top competitors in the all-around.

Last season, Sanchez led the Cougars at district with a 25.725 in the all-around, with France scoring 25.0.

Senior Kaylee Seabolt and junior Emilie Adams also return while junior Aileen Plascencia is back after competing as a freshman.

Senior Jenny Garcia is in her first year in the sport.

Senior Heaven Manbevers has opted not to compete this season.

“We have a small team this year, but not our smallest,” Brittany Maynard said. “A fair amount of girls that are on the team have competed before, so that’s good to have that experience come back. We expected it to be lower numbers with everything going on this year because of COVID and the way schools have been going back and forth with the hybrid model, the remote learning.”

Westland is competing in the OCC-Central Division with Dublin Coffman, Grove City, Hilliard Bradley, Olentangy Orange, UA and Westerville Central.

Last season, the Cougars finished sixth in the OCC-Central at 4-10 with 12 points, behind champion UA (32, 14-0).

Lavon Maynard, who also coaches Central Crossing and Franklin Heights, was named OCC-Central Coach of the Year.

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the start of the season was delayed. Westland is scheduled to compete Monday, Dec. 21, at Coffman.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

GYMNASTICS

Coach: Lavon Maynard, 21st season

Top athletes: Emilie Adams, Emily France, Chloe Sanchez and Kaylee Seabolt

Key losses: Heaven Manbevers and Desiree Thompson

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: 22nd at district