VERSAILLES – Darke County’s high school gymnasts began the 2018 season in the inaugural Darke-Shelby County High School Gymnastics Invitational on Saturday at Flying J’s Gymnastics in Versailles.
Saturday’s season opener included gymnasts from Ansonia, Greenville, Versailles, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, Northmont and Troy. Other gymnasts including girls from Anna and Arcanum were unable to compete because of illness and injury.
Jessica Pothast, who coaches the gymnasts from Darke and Shelby counties, was thrilled with how the first meet went at Flying J’s.
“It went awesome,” she said. “Better than I expected. The girls did phenomenal for their first meet. I was glad to have the home field advantage for their senior night. It was just all-around a good meet.”
The top local performance came from Versailles’ Jorja Pothast, who placed in the top 10 in all four disciplines and finished sixth overall in the all-around. The Versailles senior placed fourth on the vault with an 8.050, placed sixth on the beam with an 8.600, placed ninth on the uneven bars with a 6.800 and placed ninth on the floor with a 7.800 for a total score of 31.250.
“So proud,” Coach Pothast said. “So proud of her today.”
Ansonia’s Amber Aultman also placed on Saturday. The Tiger senior placed 10th on the balance beam with an 8.050.
“She did wonderful,” Coach Pothast said. “I can’t wait to see what more they can do.”
Beavercreek’s Abby Arntz won the all-around with a total score of 34.750. She won the vault with an 8.750, won the uneven bars with an 8.850 and won the beam with a 9.150. Miamisburg’s Keala McCurry won the floor with an 8.500.
Miamisburg won the team championship while Troy finished as the runner-up in the team competition.
Greenville’s Emily Marchal and Versailles’ Jayla Pothast also competed in Saturday’s meet. More Darke County girls will join the squad at their next meet.
“There was a couple girls with illness, injury and then a couple girls are still competing in other meets,” Coach Pothast said. “The next meet that we attend we’ll be full force, all gymnasts.”
One year after Versailles qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association state meet for the first time, Coach Pothast anticipates the Darke and Shelby county girls having another strong season.
“I think they’ll look very strong this year,” she said of the local gymnasts. “I look forward to how they’ll perform and how they’ll finish. That will be awesome.”
Along with being the season opener, Saturday’s meet also was senior day for four local gymnasts: Anna’s Kara Steinke, Ansonia’s Amber Aultman, Arcanum’s Cheyenne White and Versailles’ Jorja Pothast.
“It’s mixed emotions,” Coach Pothast said of the senior day. “So proud of how they’ve done. Excited for their future, excited for them to compete their senior year, but I’m going to miss them after this year.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.