One misstep, bobble or fall and the season can come to a screeching halt.
Coming into her first sectional at Columbus East — one of, if not the most competitive sectional in the state — Seymour sophomore Kellsye Warner knew she needed a strong performance Saturday to continue her postseason dreams.
With a fall on the beam and a bars routine that wasn’t enough for a top-six finish — her two strongest events — Warner needed a strong score on the floor.
Scoring a 9.25 on the floor, Warner tied for sixth with Bloomington South’s Kelsey Schermer and Columbus North’s Claire Finn to secure a final spot in the individual event for regional.
“My landings and leaps were 10 times better than what they have been,” Warner said. “I just performed the whole routine well. It was very nerve-racking. I heard a lot of things about (sectional) from Alyssa (Goen) and Jenna (Thomas). I had adrenaline, and it helped me get through my routine.
“I expected to get (to regional), but not on floor. I thought it would be beam or bars because those are my strongest events. I fell on beam, so I wasn’t able to get out on it. I’m going to have to put together an even better routine. My leaps could be better and front pass.”
Owls coach Angie Mellencamp said Warner had her best routine of the season on floor.
“She nailed her jump combinations solidly for the first time this season,” Mellencamp said. “Her lines were clean, passes were strong and landings were solid. She stuck everything without extra steps, and to get out of the sectional, that’s what you had to do. You couldn’t have a bobble — nothing.”
While Warner is a sophomore, this is her first season with the Owls.
She previously competed in club gymnastics in Madison before joining Seymour this past season.
Mellencamp, who owns Gymnastics Lane, typically sees her high school gymnasts years before their final four years.
While Warner was a new face, she consistently scored as the Owls’ No. 2 in the regular season.
“I hadn’t even coached (Warner) in the gym prior (to the season),” Mellencamp said. “Most kids come up through my program, and I know what to expect out of them. Kellsye has been a great addition to the team this year.
“Going into sectional, I knew she had the potential to get out — it all depended on who hit. Our sectional had eight of the top 15 all-arounders from around the state. It was the toughest sectional in the state. We had amazing competition.”
Warner brings years of experience to the Owls’ unit.
“You can tell she’s experienced and very inclined to the sport,” Mellencamp said. “She has beautiful lines — they’re God-given. She has worked very hard but has natural ability.”
The Connersville Sectional will feed into the Columbus East Regional.
Last weekend, the highest-scoring floor routine at Connersville was 9.050 by New Palestine’s Annabelle Dockins.
Mellencamp said if Warner scores at least a 9.25 again, she will likely make it to the state competition March 12 at Ball State’s Worthen Arena.