For The Tribune
The Columbus East and Seymour gymnastics teams opened their seasons Saturday at Columbus East High School with the Olympians coming away with the victory 108.3-97.15.
Freshman Adi Minor won the all-around competition for the Olympians with 36.35 points. Minor began her day with a 9.5 on vault and was consistent enough in the other events to secure her first-place, all-around finish.
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“It was a good performance,” Minor said. “Bars could have been a lot better. I was a little nervous going into that, but the rest all came together.”
East’s Becca Bryan finished just one tenth of a point behind Minor in the all-around and won the floor exercise with a 9.45.
Alyssa Goen turned in Seymour’s best performance, finishing third in the all-around and winning two individual events.
“Alyssa was the rock star of the day for us,” Owls coach Angie Mellencamp said.
Goen finished first in the uneven bars, with 8.95 points, and the balance beam, scoring 9.3.
“That gets me really pumped because they aren’t my best events,” Goen said. “It was the first meet, and those don’t usually go very well, but we did alright.”
Both coaches were pleased with their teams’ performances, especially considering Saturday’s meet was each team’s first time in front of judges this season.
“We were well prepared to start today. Not where you need to be, but we had a good start,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said.
“Routines are routines, so you’re still hoping to hit your routine. Eventually you have to get started. You can practice forever, but finally it has to be in front of a judge where you get a little more nervous,” Kirshman said.
Mellencamp had similar feelings about her team’s opening performance. “I’m proud of the girls,” she said. “They know they can do better, which is frustrating as a gymnast, but overall, it was OK. We had a lot of nerves that came out today.”
Looking forward, each team will look to build on the performances from the first meet and continue to improve.
“Compared to where we started last year, we’re a lot better off,” Mellencamp said.
For the young Olympians squad, Saturday marked a positive start to the season, but Kirshman and her team knows that the best is yet to come.
“It’s nice to win,” she said. “You want to win as many as you can, but these are all practices. What counts is when you get to the sectional, the regional and state. That’s the time everything has to fall into place. If you make mistakes now, it’s a good thing. Make them now, don’t make them then.”