Expectations remain high for area gymnastics teams heading into Saturday’s sectional in Connersville.
Hagerstown and Richmond feature a pair of seniors with big-time experience looking to extend their careers and ultimately earn a trip to state.
Hagerstown, Richmond, Lincoln, Connersville, Cowan, Morristown, Muncie Central, Muncie South, New Castle, New Palestine, Rushville and Shelbyville all head to the Spartan Bowl for the sectional Saturday.
“All of our team scores have been significantly higher than they were last year,” Richmond coach Justine Coblentz-Boggs said. “… I think we are much more consistent than we were.”
Consistency has been the key for seniors Chasity Wampler of Richmond and Maddie Davis of Hagerstown.
Davis helped Hagerstown advance to state as a team during her freshman year and made a return trip as a sophomore.
Wampler qualified as an individual the last two years, earning a third-place medal in vault as a junior.
“Chasity has been really focused. She’s 100 percent ready for sectionals,” Coblentz-Boggs said.
Wampler earned all-North Central Conference honors this season as she finished with a second-place all-around score of 36.15 at the NCC gymnastics tournament.
Wampler was second on vault with a 9.3 and third on bars (8.8), floor (9.15) and beam (8.9) as Richmond finished fourth of five teams with a team score of 93.65.
Alexis Sparks, Paryn Twine, Kiley Thomas, Amanda Rippenger, Brooke Day and Alegra Cruse also placed for Richmond.
“I have been very pleased with the rest of the team,” Coblentz-Boggs said. “I think that we still had a couple things that everybody needed to clean up.”
For Hagerstown, a five-year sectional reign was snapped last year as Connersville edged the Tigers for the team title, but still advanced to the regional.
Hagerstown is among the contenders seeking to advance as a team. The Tigers have seen tough competition in the regular season from sectional foes Connersville, New Castle and New Palestine.
The top three teams and top six individuals advance to the Columbus East Regional March 14.
“They’ll take the top three teams out. Our goal is definitely to get out as a team. We’re just really going to have to put our routines together and do everything we need to do,” said Hagerstown coach Andra Solis.
“… I think we have the potential to do it. We’re not favored to do it for sure, but I think our team has consistently been a team that can beat teams better than them at times, so I’m hoping we can pull it together and be confident and consistent like we typically are.”
Davis won the vault, bars and floor events, while finishing second in both beam and all-around during Hagerstown’s regular-season finale last Thursday, a narrow loss to Jay County.
Macie Bush finished second in bars and floor and third in vault, beam and all-around against Jay County.
Senior Natalie Williamson was also on the team that went to state.
Maddie Davis and sophomore Bailey Davis are Solis’ daughters. Maddie Davis was 26th in bars at state as a sophomore after overcoming an injury.
“It’s been a great four years. She’s been to state as a team and as an individual. She’s been Most Valuable Gymnast three years in a row,” Solis said of Maddie Davis.
“… This is a good group of girls. It’s a small group. They definitely bonded and work hard together and are supportive of each other.”