Angie Mellencamp is excited, and anxious, to see how her Seymour gymnastics team improves this season.

The Owls opened their schedule Saturday at Columbus East.

Mellencamp said the key for her team in the 2017-18 season will be executing their routines.

“I think their strongest events will be floor and beam as long as they stick,” she said. “Their watered down routines are very clean. They just need to add in their difficulty, which we’ll probably start putting in toward the end of January.”

She is working with nine girls, led by Kellsye Warner. She is the only senior on the roster, and qualified for state on the beam last season, and will compete in all-around again this season.

Other veterans are Avery DeHart and Brett Kleber.

“Everybody else is new,” Mellencamp said. “I’ve got a very young team. Nicole Elmore is a junior. She will do all-around. She hasn’t done it her freshmen or sophomore years. She is going to be a scorer for us on floor and vault.

“In floor it’s a toss-up between Kellsye and Avery. Grace Furlow is new to the team, and she is going to be a higher scorer on floor as well. On beam, Kelsye and Grace will probably be our top scorers. On bars, Brett, Avery, Grace, Kelsye, they’ve all got potential to have high scores.

“On vault, it will probably be Avery and Gracie. Ivy Brown is going to be a solid all-arounder this year. She’s young (freshman) and she still needs to get difficulty, but she’s very clean. Her scores will be high, but she’s got so much potential. So she’ll be one to watch this year and over the next few years.”

Mellencamp said Saturday was the first time for her girls to perform in front of judges.

“This is the first year we’ve headed into this meet with the amount of difficulty that we have on all their routines,” she said. “We’ve got more bonus points than we’ve ever had.” She said the Owls need to perform at that level to be competitive with the good teams.

“We’ve never had the amount of bonus that we have going in to this East meet probably since when we went to state five years ago. So, they have potential. Looking at tournament time to really score out, but once you get to sectionals it’s what team hits, who has a good day.”

The schedule has been shortened by one week, and the sectional will be the last Saturday in February.

The invitational at East at the end of the season has been cancelled.

The Owls will compete in two invites, at Bloomington South on Jan. 27, and at Bloomington North on Feb. 10.

The Owls will have two home meets at their new home on the west side of Seymour, against Franklin Central on Jan. 11 and against Bloomington North on Jan. 22.

Mellencamp said Saturday’s meet was about performing.

“I’m not worried about the score (107.4-99.2 loss),” Mellencamp said. “It’s really about execution and being clean and landing their skills. A lot of the girls are doing stuff they haven’t done. A lot of the girls that are coming in, the younger girls, haven’t been in front of judges for a few years. I just want the girls to have a clean meet.

“I’m not worried right now about all the difficulty being in. I just want execution and stuck routines. Get some experience under their belt.”

Mellencamp said with their next meet being Jan. 11 it gives them time to, “make corrections, change things in and out of their routines if need be. It’s always good this early to get some of the judges’ feedback after the meet, and kind of tear through the goal sheets and compare those sheets to the judges’ goal sheets.

“It is a great group of girls. I’m excited.”

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.