For Connersville, the 13th year was a lucky one.
For Hagerstown, an improved performance was not quite good enough to keep a sectional team winning streak alive.
For Richmond’s Chasity Wampler, a stellar day earned her a title.
The host Spartans edged Hagerstown by just more than a point to win the team title in Saturday’s girls gymnastics sectional at the Spartan Bowl.
Connersville scored 104.050 points to 103.000 for the runner-up Tigers. New Castle was the third regional-qualifying team among the seven competing schools.
The Spartans claimed their first sectional crown since 2000, when Connersville finished a string of five titles in a row.
But all of the area’s competing schools had something to be happy about.
Richmond junior Wampler earned the individual all-around title with 35.950, winning both the vault and the bars, plus finishing fourth in floor exercise and fifth on beam.
Also advancing in individual events were Lincoln’s Shelby Bertsch in vault and Michelle Seidner in floor exercise, plus Tessa Toney of Centerville in vault.
Hagerstown team members were Macie Bush, Madison Davis, Kaci Plankenhorn, Bailey Davis, and Jessica Denhart. Natalie Williamson was injured and could not compete.
“I think the vault was my best performance (9.600) today, and I’m pleased with that,” said Richmond’s Wampler. “My hopes are that I go four-for-four (good on all events) at regional, and can keep my nerves in check.”
Also pleased with Wampler, and the entire RHS team of Alegra Cruse, Brooke Day, Amanda Ripperger, Alexis Sparks, and Kylie Thomas, was first-year Red Devil head coach Justine Coblentz.
“Chasity stood up (landed on her feet) on her vault, and did a good job overall, she had a real good day,” said Coblentz before results were announced. “But I am also pleased for my other five girls. This was their first sectional gymnastic competition, and the atmosphere is much different here at this meet. I’m just very happy overall.”
Wampler’s vault score was more than three-tenths better than any other score, on any event, by any other competitor Saturday.
Despite the end of the title streak, Hagerstown coach Andra Solis was happy afterward.
“We had lost to Connersville and New Castle during the season, so I am very happy to finish second here, beating New Castle but behind Connersville,” Solis said. “Macie and Maddie both stepped up this week in practice, added difficulty and cleaned up their routines, and focused well in performing today. Really, all of the girls did that (Saturday).”
Bush and Davis finished one-two, respectively, in floor exercise. Rushville freshman Kylee Elleman was second in all-around, Bush was third and Connersville’s Sydney Huber tied Davis for fourth.
Sarah Schutt and Presley Fohl were sixth and seventh in the all-around for the Spartans, while Golden Eagles senior Seidner came in eighth. Seidner tied Elleman for fifth in the floor exercise, earning her ticket for the Columbus East regional Friday night. Centerville freshman Toney, the only competitor from her school, was ninth in the all-around standings.
Her Lincoln classmate Bertsch tied with Toney and Rushville’s Mariah Fenimore for the sixth-best score in vault, and all three advance to the next round.
Hagerstown’s Kaci Plankenhorn was 12th in all-around, while Richmond’s Sparks, a junior, was 16th.