Westland Roundup: Cougars gymnasts preparing for OCC, district meets

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Westland's Chloe Sanchez competes in a meet Jan. 22 at Central Ohio Gymnastics and Cheerleading in Delaware. Coach Brittany Maynard said Sanchez has been one of the top performers for the Cougars, who are getting ready for the OCC-Central and district meets.

With the postseason approaching, Westland gymnastics coaches Lavon Maynard and Brittany Maynard are hoping to help sharpen their athletes’ skills and routines. 

“They’re doing great,” said Brittany Maynard, who returned to Westland as an assistant after guiding the Upper Arlington program for two seasons. “They’re learning new things every week, adding to their routines for competition, making sure they’re getting their requirements in and help their scores go up. We’re very pleased.” 

The Cougars will compete in the OCC-Central Division meet Feb. 20 at Thomas Worthington, followed by the district meet Feb. 27 at Worthington Kilbourne. 

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there will be three sessions at district, with the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advancing to state March 6 at Hilliard Bradley. 

Westland, which has had a limited schedule because of COVID-19, competed in a six-team meet Jan. 25 and finished fifth (60.525) behind first-place and host Hilliard Darby (135.95). 

Sophomore Emily France led Westland by finishing 28th in the all-around (25.425), and junior Emilee Adams was 33rd (22.8). 

Senior Kaylee Seabolt also competed. 

Sophomore Chloe Sanchez didn’t compete in the meet, but she has been one of the Cougars’ top all-around performers this season, according to Brittany Maynard. 

“This was our last meet before OCC and district, so we have a little bit of time to clean up routines. That’s one of the biggest things,” Brittany Maynard said. “(We need to) get rid of some of those silly errors (and) add in some requirements that we might be missing that we’ve been working on in the gym but might not be polishing up yet for competition. We want to finish with our two best meets of the season.” 

Two wrestlers capture 

titles at Jonathan Alder 

Tyler Jude (106 pounds) and Trent Jude (113) led the wrestling team in the Ron Thomas Invitational on Jan. 23 at Jonathan Alder, as both won championships.

Jakob Hurley (152) placed second and Jacob Mullens (195) was third as Westland finished ninth (95.5) of 12 teams behind champion Marysville (225.5). 

“I thought we wrestled well,” coach Brent Allerding said. “We looked much better than the previous weeks. There was a lot of good competition and I thought we stepped up to the challenge. Tyler and Trent both won in pretty dominant fashion, which was good to see. They improved their focus and preparation ... and I thought that was noticeable (Jan. 23).” 

The Cougars lost to New Albany 54-16 in an OCC-Ohio match Jan. 21. Hurley won by pin (1 minute, 30 seconds) at 152 and Mullens won 20-6 at 195. 

Before competing against Westerville Central on Jan. 28, Hurley was 21-1, Tyler Jude was 17-1, Trent Jude was 17-2, Mullens was 16-7 and Bryson Palmer was 15-1 at 126. 

Hannah Kershaw was averaging team highs of 6.0 points and 7.6 rebounds through eight games for Westland.

Girls basketball team 

seeking first win 

The girls basketball team was 0-8 overall before playing Horizon Science on Jan. 27 and 0-5 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North on Jan. 29. 

Hannah Kershaw was averaging team highs of 6.0 points and 7.6 rebounds through eight games. 

Alexxus Phifer was second in scoring (4.8 points) and Damiya Alderson was second in rebounding at 5.6 per game.

“All of the opponents have been tough competition,” coach Nina Napolitano said. “We had a competitive game against Central Crossing (45-30 loss Jan. 5) and a good defensive performance against Grove City (56-13 loss Jan. 15). We are still trying to string together four quarters of play on both offense and defense.”

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank