Login NowClose 
Sign In to newsexaminer.com           
Forgot Password
or if you have not registered since 8/22/18
Click Here to Create an Account

Tumbling teaser

1 / 3
Connersville’s Kaylor McKinneydisplaysplenty ofenthusiasm during a floor routine at the CHS gymnastics preview night event on Wednesday. McKinney was one of six freshmen performing for the first time at a high school event.
2 / 3
Connersville senior gymnast Katelyn Burris shows her form in the vault competition, Wednesday night inside the CHS gymnasium. Burris scored a team-high 8.75 at the preview night event. Burris and the Lady Spartans open the 2019 season with a double dual against New Castle and New Palestine on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
3 / 3
Connersville’s Delaynee Hall performs on the balance beam at the CHS gymnastics preview night event inside the CHS gymnasium on Wednesday night. Hall was one of 16 girls who showcased their talent at the preseason opener for the Lady Spartans.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

The Connersville High School gymnasium was filled with girls flipping, twisting, dancing and tumbling on Wednesday night.

For many of the performers, the experience was a first in a high school setting.

The CHS gymnastics preview night is a traditional setting in which the Lady Spartans showcase their talent for the upcoming campaign. It’s a chance to get a look-see at what the team will put on the mats throughout the season.

What fans saw on Wednesday were experienced competitors, mixed in among several fresh faces.

A total of six freshman girls were on the mats, joining 10 other girls, the large tumbling group giving head coach Joann Borders cause for plenty of smiles.

“It’s very exciting seeing all these young gymnasts out here tonight,” she said. 

In spite of the preview night being held nearly a month ahead of the season opener, the longtime CHS gymnastics mentor pointed out the significance of getting the girls on the mats for the event. 

“Tonight is very important, especially for the younger kids, because now they know what it takes to compete,” she said. “It’s one thing for them to come into the (gymnastics center) and work out. It’s something different, however, at a meet when you have to go all out. 

“After tonight, I think some of them realize that they could be working a little bit harder.”

In spite of the fact that she’s been coach of the CHS program dating back to the 80s, Borders said that the annual preview is a big help for her, as well.

“This meet is also a good thing for me, as it shows me the things that I can help them with, skills in which they can improve on,” she said. 

Freshmen stepping into the high school spotlight for the first time on Wednesday included Gracey Barnes, Kaylor McKinney, Kaylynn Mohr, Madison Mullins, Stevie Rheinhardt and Brooke Sudhoff.

Borders was happy with what she saw from her younger gymnasts, and pointed out a couple of them.

“For Madison Mullins, this was her very first meet,” the CHS coach said. “She came in here tonight, ready to warm up and perform. I am so pleased with how hard she worked to get ready for this meet, how determined she was. In the beginning tonight, she was a little timid about doing her dismount on the beam, but in the end she did it.

“Brooke (Sudhoff) also had a good night. The judges were very complimentary of her jumps.” 

The younger gymnasts were joined by sophomores Delaynee Hall, Allison Hoffman, Victoria Metcalfe, Mercedes Reed and Karly Tracy. Hall, Hoffman, Metcalfe and Tracy were members of last year’s squad.

Upperclassmen performing at the event were Autumn Blaes, Katelyn Burris, Kenzy Lynch, Jade Pflum and Ali Sargent.

“My kids from last year were a great example for the younger kids,” Borders said, following the night’s activities.

The girls performed in the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise, in that order.

Burris, a senior, earned top honors on the vault (8.75) and bars (7.475). On the balance beam, Hoffman was first, finishing with a 7.725 score. Hoffman also earned the best score with her floor exercise, scoring an 8.25. 

Had the night been a real dual, the Spartans would have earned a team score of 91.6, not bad for their first time on the mat.

But Borders knows that her charges have a little more to give.

“I know that these girls have the potential to do much better,” she said. “I think we’re going to work a little harder and our scores are going to be higher. I believe that right now, these girls are capable of scoring a 96.”

Connersville opens its season on Tuesday, Jan. 8, hosting both New Castle and New Palestine.



Preview Night

(at Connersville High School gymnasium)

Vault (25.5) — Katelyn Burris 8.75, Allison Hoffman 8.5, Stevie Rheinhardt 8.25, Ali Sargent 8.25, Gracey Barnes 8.2, Delaynee Hall 8.2, Autumn Blaes 8.1, Kaylynn Mohr 8.0, Madison Mullins 7.95, Brooke Sudhoff 7.95, Kenzy Lynch 7.8, Karly Tracy 7.7, Kaylor McKinney 7.65, Jade Pflum 7.65, Mercedes Reed 7.0.

Uneven Bars (21.415) — Katelyn Burris 7.475, Ali Sargent 7.125, Victoria Metcalfe 6.875, Autumn Blaes 6.575, Brooke Sudhoff 6.215, Delaynee Hall 6.1, Kaylynn Mohr 5.75, Stevie Rheinhardt 4.925.

Balance Beam (21.2) — Allison Hoffman 7.725, Delaynee Hall 6.75, Ali Sargent 6.725, Brooke Sudhoff 6.65, Katelyn Burris 6.275, Karly Tracy 6.125, Madison Mullins 5.9, Kaylor McKinney 2.625.

Floor Exercise (23.425) — Allison Hoffman 8.25, Brooke Sudhoff 7.6, Kenzy Lynch 7.575, Katelyn Burris 7.125, Ali Sargent 6.7, Kaylor McKinney 6.275.