SYRACUSE — In sports, sometimes a team has to find the small victories when taking a loss.
That was the case for the Wawasee Warrior gymnastics team on Wednesday. The team scored a season high, but was edged out by visiting DeKalb 99-96.075.
Wawasee head coach Nika Prather talked about her team’s season high scoring night, “I told the girls this week that I wanted them to score two more points than they did in our last meet when we scored a 94-something , and they did. I guess ask and you shall receive!”
Prather would later continue, “I knew it would be a tough meet, DeKalb is a good team. They have low numbers but you only need three good scores in each event and, obviously, they did that.”
The one Baron gymnast that made herself a mainstay at the top was Kristin Russell. The DeKalb sophomore finished first in vault and uneven bars with scores of 9.25 and 8.6 respectively. Russell would also finish first in all-around with a score of 34.75.
The girl making the most noise for Wawasee tonight was Emily Allen. The junior placed in the top four in all of her events and finished with an all-around score of 32.7, good enough for third overall. The highlight for Allen’s night was on the beam. Allen and DeKalb’s Ryley Gibson tied for first in the event with a score of 7.75.
Though Allen had a great night on the beam, her coach took notice to her performance on the bars.
“Emily crashed big time on a bar routine two weeks ago, and I knew that was in the back of her mind. So, mentally, we just tried to get her past that point. She went through the routine and did well. Sometimes you have to take little victories like that,” Prather stated.
Allen finished with a 7.95 on the bars but it was Wawasee’s Taylor Busse that led the team in the event. Busse finished with a score of 8.025 which placed her second in the meet behind Russell.
Molly Smith led the Warriors in vault, posting a score of 8.5 which placed her third overall.
Following the meet, DeKalb head coach Jenny Gibson talked about her team’s win.
“We started out nice,” Gibson said. “We swung pretty good bars and vault is one of our strong suits so the girls didn’t surprise me there.”
The Barons, which are the defending Wawasee Sectional champions after winning its first-ever title last March, posted a 26.6 vault team score.
“Floor was pretty good tonight and beam, well, that is always our nemesis. We could have had a better night on beam,” Gibson would later continue.
Prather talked a little bit about what her team needed to do looking forward.
“We are a young team and we have a lot of girls stepping up and that needs to continue. That’s what we need, those new kids working hard for a varsity spot. When one girl steps up and performs, it challenges another to do the same,” stated Prather.
In the junior varsity tallies, DeKalb outscored the Wawasee JV 58.3-41.3. Taylor Heck placed first in the floor routine for Wawasee with a score of 6.95. Deea Coy and Emma Hoyle took third in beam and vault, respectively, while Esther Hermann took second in vault.
With Wednesday’s loss, Wawasee’s varsity falls to 3-4 on the season. Wawasee’s next meet is this Saturday at the Lakeland Invitational starting at 11 a.m. The next home match for the Warriors will be February 14 against Huntington North.