The Seymour gymnastics team is pushing its potential in every competition — and the state has taken notice.
This past weekend, the Owls scored a 107.5 at the Bloomington North Invite — just .325 off the school record.
The last team to score in the 107’s for Seymour? They won sectional, regional and finished fifth at the state meet in 2012.
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Just off 1st Ave. in Seymour, the Owls are putting in the work with a roster that features three sophomores, two freshmen and a senior at Gymnastics Lane.
Throughout the season, the Owls have steadily improved their team scores, finishing at least in the top two at invitationals and winning all but one dual meet: their first of the season at Columbus East.
“I knew the potential was there, at the beginning of the season we looked at what we had: a lot of young girls that have been working very difficult skills,” Owls coach Angie Mellencamp said. “At the start, you don’t know if they can pull it all together at the end. They’re so young, so it’s whether or not they hit. They have potential to increase that team score even more.”
The last, and sole, Owls team to go to state didn’t have the youth that this year’s team bolsters.
“That was a bunch of veterans,” Mellencamp said. “My No. 1 and No. 2 girls were junior and senior. I only had one freshman that year. It’s going to be interesting to see these kids grow.”
Most all the girls on the team have gone through Mellencamp’s feeder program at her gym.
“It’s a fun group,” Mellencamp said of her team. “It’s a relief knowing they have the training behind them. A lot of these kids have come up through gymnastics that I have coached for years. They know and trust me as a coach. In this sport, when you’re dealing with skills that throw your body around, you have to trust your coach.”
Sophomore Jenna Thomas said she has been working with Mellencamp since she was four years old.
A handful of the girls have also competed together with travel teams.
“During club, we were all on the same team five or six years ago,” Thomas said. “It has been really easy working and getting everyone together.”
For freshman Avery DeHart, it’s the first time she has directly worked with Mellencamp.
“This is my first year with her, but she used to coach at the old gym,” she said. “I knew her, but didn’t have her as a coach. I love her, she’s awesome.”
At each practice following each competition, Mellencamp gives each of her gymnasts’ the judges’ score sheets.
While Mellencamp pushes the girls, she said that the girls have maintained a strong focus on their season for improvement.
In gymnastics, it’s the little things that are adding up.
“I tell them to look at one to two things (on the score sheet) on each event where they can gain one to two tenths,” she said. “If you can gain that much on each event, it adds up over a point for your next team score. The little improvements are adding up.”
The Owls are anchored by senior Alyssa Goen, who has dominated the field finishing in the top-3 for the all-around in every competition.
Goen has advanced to state in the floor individually the past two years.
Sophomore Kellsye Warner typically acts as the No. 2 on the team, while Thomas and DeHart serve as the No. 3 and No. 4.
“We’ve been running through a lot of routines in practice and having mock meets,” Thomas said. “Our lowest scoring right now is execution — we need to work on our landings, toe points and keeping our legs straight. Falls are hurting us on the beam and we need to get our bars score up. Our floor is pretty good this season.”
The Owls will host a pair of mock meets leading up to the Columbus East Sectional on Feb. 27.
Columbus North, East and Owen Valley — three of the top scoring teams in the state — will be in attendance, and Mellencamp said her team has to pull off strong routines to make a postseason push.