Bloomington North, Bloomington South Advance Gymnasts
COLUMBUS — Bloomington North gymnast Sarah Goldsworthy was only halfway through her floor routine when she landed oddly.
The junior first played, even continuing, but the pain caught up with him.
Goldsworthy fell, grabbing her ankle as the once energetic gym fell silent. Luckily, with help, she was able to walk away.
Hailed as one of the best of Bloomington North’s star-studded cast, Goldsworthy’s downfall meant a lot, especially with three events remaining.
But it didn’t shake her.
Shortly after the Cougars finished their remaining floor routines, she was backstage testing her ankle and trying to convince coach Andrea Smith to let her finish the day, but Smith didn’t have it. She didn’t want to take any risks.
As in any sport, it’s the next person, and luckily for the Cougars, the list goes deep. Even with Goldsworthy and the Cougars forced to take an 0 on beam, the team still topped all schools in the event (27.650) en route to a 108.175 total for its first section title since 1984.
“Our depth is what happened today,” Smith said. “Our substitutes had to come looking to help everywhere else and that’s exactly what they did. That’s what’s great about this team, we don’t just rely on one or two athletes, we rely on multiple athletes to be able to elevate them until they have done.”
Columbus North placed second at 107.975 and Roncalli third at 105.275. Bloomington South was sixth at 101.975 and Edgewood was 10th at 95.650.
North lights dashboard
It has been 12 days since No. 5 Bloomington North last met No. 10 Columbus North and rival Bloomington South in the Indiana Conference meet.
Back then, on Feb. 14, the Bull Dogs outscored the Cougars by just under two runs to win the conference title, outscoring them 107.275 to 105.525 in a minor upset and tying the season streak between the two. at 1-1 (the Cougars beat the Bull Dogs 105.25-104.7 in January).
Reuniting on a bigger stage, Bloomington North was determined not to let that happen again. The Cougars had the most success on beam and floor (27.800), besting all in both events.
Two athletes, Sofia Garcia (first, 9.525) and Jessica Floyd (eighth, 9.175) scored in the nine on beam, with Madeleine Rich close at 8.950. Garcia, Floyd and teammate Hope Taylor placed in the top six on floor.
After Goldsworthy’s injury, sophomore Claire Dann took her place on vault, tied with teammate Sofia Monteilh for 14th place with an 8.650. Taylor’s 9.525 earned him third place.
Impressively, Goldsworthy still ended up competing on the bars, finishing with a team best 8.750 (eighth) before hobbling after landing his landing perfectly. The injury is not considered serious and things look hopeful for a return to regionals.
“It was probably his best bar routine of the year,” Smith said. “She sincerely wanted to participate in all the events, but we have to make safety our main concern. As it doesn’t look like a serious injury, we have to think about the future and not what is happening at the moment.”
“Since we have that depth, we had to rely on that today so we didn’t have to compete with her and we were able to rest her to do well at regionals,” she said.
South sends three to regionals
If it hadn’t been for a bad run in the bars, Bloomington South would have finished higher than sixth, but despite the team not advancing to regionals, that doesn’t take away from the strong outing of the Panthers Saturday.
South’s beam performance (27.150) was second only to Bloomington North, and her floor (26.375) was in the top four.
“All of them are coming back next year so I kept telling them it’s just a learning experience because whatever you imbibe from today we can use it again the next year,” Bloomington South coach Michelle Stroud said. “We had three more today which was amazing. I knew they were capable of it.”
Panthers sophomore Madeline Kawanishi put on a show on balance beam, scoring a 9.250, which was enough for fourth place and a trip to regionals. Kawanishi also placed eighth in the all-around. Right behind her was fellow sophomore Amelie Parrish (9.200) who finished tied for sixth to join Kawanishi next week.
“Maddy and Amelie on beam, I know how strong they are, and the more they continue to do well, the more confidence it builds,” Stroud said. “And that’s all I want for them. I want them to see what they are capable of, and again today I showed them that.”
Amelia Langley led the way on floor, racking up a team best 9.250 to place fifth in the event. Finally breaking through in her third season, Langley was overwhelmed with emotion after stepping forward.
“She, on the ground, has been working for three years, with the same skills, trying to push in these regional spots and I’m so excited for her,” Stroud said. “She was sobbing with happiness because she was so excited to have this opportunity.”
Edgewood’s Ashley Abram closes in, Mustangs close out season
The team of five Mustangs may be small, but that didn’t stop them from battling it out in what turned out to be the team’s last performance.
Edgewood nearly saw one of his own heading into regionals as Ashley Abram’s second 9.150 on the floor narrowly missed sixth, which ended in Bloomington North’s 9.225 tie between Garcia and Floyd.
Abram was the team leader in all events outside of vault, scoring 7.950 on bars and 8.375 on beam. Along with Abram, sophomore Addison Goerges scored 7.550 on bars, 8.300 on beam, 8.300 on floor and 8.425 on vault for a total of 32.575 points (15th).
With a young squad of four sophomores and just one senior, the Mustangs will look to return next season with a more experienced and improved core.
The Bloomington South Cougars and Kawanishi, Langley and Parrish will meet at Franklin Central High School next Friday to compete in the regional competition at 6 p.m.
Contact journalist Devin Voss at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @DevinVoss23.