The Harrison gymnastics team proved last week that making it to a regional final does not require fielding a traditional six-person team.
The team comprised of two sophomores (Georgia Lawlor and McKinzie Bundy) and one freshman (Abigail Hancock) was able to overtake larger teams like Western, North Montgomery and Crawfordsville to place in the top three at the Lafayette Jeff Sectional and qualify for the regional. The Raiders qualified behind Logansport and Lafayette Jeff, which between them had the top five qualifiers in individual all-around.
“We are consistent in what we do,” Lawlor said. “We have to take the scores that we get — there are no second chances. We have to be confident in the routines that we are doing.”
What makes this an even greater accomplishment is the pressure that is put on them by having only three girls.
“We have a very balanced team,” Harrison coach Diana Hancock said. “They each stepped up and did their personal best at sectionals, and that’s how we got to regionals.”
At Friday night’s regional finals, which will be held in the same Lafayette Jeff gym as the sectional, will also provide those three gymnasts another chance at qualifying for individual events.
Despite qualifying outside of the top six in the all-around, each Harrison individual is given a second opportunity to qualify for the individual all-around as well as all the individual events, since the Raiders qualified as a team. Those other events include vault, floor, balance beam and bars.
In the sectionals, Bundy just missed out in qualifying for the beam, and even though she feels comfortable on the floor, her coach was quick to point out she felt she excels at the beam.
“McKinzie is very good at the beam,” Diana Hancock said. “She always brings in the score that we need. If Georgia or Abigail happen to fall, McKinzie is always there for us.”
In addition to helping the Raiders qualify as a team, Hancock and Lawlor also qualified in the top six as individuals in the floor exercise, which is their best event.
“This is definitely my best event,” said Abigail Hancock.
The girls should be familiar with gym they will be competing at, since that is where they practice.
“Lafayette Jeff is definitely our biggest competition,” Lawlor said. “Since we practice with them every day, it is kind of like they are our family.”
The element of surprise also adds to the pressure of Friday.
“There will be other bigger teams to compete against, but Jeff is our biggest competition that we know of,” Abigail Hancock said.