GREENVILLE — In a competition that included almost 150 girls, three Darke County gymnasts finished in the top 10 at their Flipping in the Darke Invitational on Saturday at the YMCA of Darke County in Greenville.
The Darke County high school gymnastics meet began two years ago and only had about 15 girls including three from Darke County. But this year the meet had almost 150 competitors from 21 schools, including gymnasts from five of Darke County’s schools.
Ansonia’s Samantha Shook, Arcanum’s Emma Smith, Franklin Monroe’s Madison Myers, Greenville’s Paige Keller, Greenville’s Sydney Oda, Greenville’s Tessa Schatz and Versailles’ Jenna Frantz represented Darke County in the meet. Arcanum’s Marina Mehaffie was unable to compete because of an injury.
In what was the first high school meet of the season for most of Darke County’s girls, coach Jackie Briscoe said she was very proud of all of their performances and has high expectations for this season.
“I saw some really exciting things,” said Briscoe, who coaches all the county’s gymnasts. “I think we have a lot to look forward to in the next month and a half.”
Frantz, a freshman from Versailles, was the top finisher among the Darke County girls on Saturday, placing fifth in the all-around with a 34.725. She placed third on the vault with a 9.100, fifth in the floor exercise with a 9.000 and scored an 8.450 on the beam and an 8.175 on the bars.
“She has been working her tail off in the gym,” Briscoe said. “She’s been in the gym four, five days a week, and it’s paying off. Her skills are just improving immensely every week.”
Keller, a senior from Greenville, placed seventh in the all-around with a 34.600. Keller vaulted into the top 10 by winning the vault with a 9.400. She also scored an 8.800 in the floor exercise, an 8.350 on the beam and an 8.050 on the bars.
Shook, a senior from Ansonia, placed ninth in the all-around with a 34.125. She placed third in the floor exercise with a 9.025, placed ninth on the beam with an 8.550, placed ninth on the bars with an 8.450 and scored an 8.100 on the vault.
Keller and Shook, who became Darke County’s first high school gymnasts three years ago, were recognized as seniors prior to the meet and had a nice day of competition.
“Very exciting,” Briscoe said. “Sam and Paige are now seniors — I can’t believe it — and consistent all through their high school career. I think they would say that they had good days today; they had a good day today. It was nice to be home, great to be recognized as a senior.”
Madison Myers from Franklin Monroe scored a 33.050 in the all-around. She scored an 8.550 in the floor exercise, an 8.350 on the vault, an 8.150 on the bars and an 8.000 on the beam.
Tessa Schatz from Greenville scored a 31.300 in the all-around. She scored an 8.300 in the floor exercise, a 7.950 on the vault, a 9.750 on the bars and a 7.300 on the beam.
Sydney Oda from Greenville scored a 30.950 in the all-around. She scored an 8.100 in the floor exercise, a 7.750 on the vault, a 7.650 on the bars and a 7.450 on the beam.
Emma Smith from Arcanum scored a 28.800 in the all-around. She scored a 7.900 on the vault, a 7.100 on the beam, a 6.950 on the bars and a 6.850 in the floor exercise.
“I was really proud of the girls,” Briscoe said. “They did a good job.”
The Darke County gymnasts tried some new elements in their routines, Briscoe said, which should help them later in the season and in the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.
“We tried some new things today,” she said. “I felt that gave us confidence to improve those elements so that they’re ready to go at districts.”
Centerville’s Ellie Vaughan won the all-around with a 35.500, Troy’s Meg Conover finished second with a 35.375, and Troy’s Minori Nakada finished third with a 34.925.
Keller won the vault with a 9.400, Troy’s Conover finished second with a 9.150, and Frantz finished third with a 9.100.
Troy’s Nakada won the bars with an 8.975, Catholic Central’s Jacklyn DeCarlo finished second with an 8.725, and Vaughan from Centerville finished third with an 8.650.
DeCarlo from Catholic Central won the beam with an 9.85, Vaughan from Centerville finished second with an 8.850, and Conover from Troy finished third with an 8.700.
Oak Hills’ Paige Chesney won the floor exercise with a 9.175, Beavercreek’s Sydney Currier finished second with a 9.150, and Shook finished third with a 9.025.
Overall the meet went smoothly, Briscoe said, and was a great way to start the gymnastics season.
The meet and high school gymnastics in general has grown immensely in the past few years, and Briscoe said she hopes to see the sport continue to grow in the area.
“I think the awareness of high school gymnastics in Darke County has just blossomed within the last three years,” Briscoe said. “I hope that it will continue to be that way, and I hope girls in Darke County that are current gymnasts will want to pursue high school gymnastics as well and keep the program growing and successful.”