Flying high: Owls gymnast aims for state meet

With two regional appearances and a state meet in the back of her head, Seymour junior Alyssa Goen expected similar results in her third year on the gymnastics team.

Last week, at the Columbus East Sectional, Goen recorded a 9.2 on the balance beam and a 9.575 on the floor to place fourth in both events and punch a ticket to tonight’s regional.

Both scores proved her highest finishes of the season.

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“On both of her events, on floor and beam, I would say her strengths have been her sticks,” Owls coach Angie Mellencamp said.

“Her landings were clean, and there were no extra hops or step-outs. She stuck every landing on the floor for her passes. All of her big jumps, her feet were glued to the beam when she landed.”

East will again host in the second round of the postseason, and the state finals will be conducted March 21 in Worthen Arena at Ball State University.

At the regional level, Goen will face stiff competition. Goen said this year’s was the toughest sectional she has seen and regional should prove the same.

“Right now, going into the regional, a lot of the girls are throwing big skills,” Mellencamp said. “Alyssa has the difficulty, but it’s literally going to come down to execution and amplitude in the judges scores.”

Not a whole lot has changed regarding practicing other than the other Owls aren’t required to hit the mats unless they choose to help Goen.

“To fine tune, we have honestly been doing the exact same thing we’ve been doing all season in practices — that’s hitting each pass and big skill three times and then throwing in one routine semi full-out,” Mellencamp said. “We’re not trying to amp up nerves or throw anything huge last minute. She really just needs to continue doing what she has been all season.”

Last season, Goen made the state tournament for the first time on the floor.

This year, she has set her sights higher hoping to finish in the top 6 in both the floor and beam to compete in two events at state.

“We’ve talked with Alyssa, and at this point it’s about staying clean,” Owls assistant coach Michelle Escher said. “She (has) the big skills. She needs to make it enjoyable to the crowd and judges.”

While she has performed at past regionals, Goen said she still gets good nerves before meets.

“The past two years I’ve done really well at regionals,” Goen said. “I’m going to try and do what I’ve been doing all year long and not stress myself out — I’m just going to have some fun. I get pumped up at times and will get nervous about it a little bit when it comes down to the meet. I’m (going to) tell myself that I’ve done this two other times and will be fine.”

If you go

What: IHSAA Regional Gymnastics

Where: Columbus East High School

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Who: Alyssa Goen, Seymour High School

Admission: $7

Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7069.