LAGRANGE — In what most of the teams in the Wawasee Gymnastics Sectional call a ‘sectional preview’, Angola sent a loud message it is the team to beat in March after winning the Lakeland Invite Saturday.
Angola used big scores from Alex Nickel and Bailey Hinman to tally up a 102.7 to best Fort Wayne Carroll’s 100.95, DeKalb’s 100.8 and Plymouth’s 100.15. Wawasee, which will host the sectional on March 2, were seventh overall at 93.0 and Warsaw were one place behind at 89.9. Of the 10 teams at the Invite, only Carroll are not in the sectional field, which gives coaches a midseason measuring stick on what could be to come.
Angola’s Nickel posted matching 9.65s on the beam and floor to win titles at Lakeland while Hinman hoisted a 9.2 on the vault for the runner-up slot, one-tenth behind champion Alex Cool of Hamilton on the apparatus. Cool performed as a soloist and ran the table as the top all-around gymnast with a score of 36.85, with Kristin Russell of DeKalb and Nicky Davis of Plymouth both scoring 35.65 to tie for second.
Cool was the champion on bars with a score of 9.1.
Wawasee had just one score crack the top ten, which was a 7.85 on bars from Taylor Busse. Warsaw also had just one top-ten discipline, which was an 8.8 from Shannon Winslow on the beam, good for fifth place. The Tigers were short-handed, not having ace Abbi Baum in the lineup.
Winslow had the top Warsaw score on the vault at 8.1 and floor at 8.35 as well as her 32.30 all-around tally. Jo Richard gave Warsaw a 7.3 on bars.
Wawasee had four different individuals score its top awards, with Molly Smith at 8.0 on vault, Emily Allen at 8.2 on beam and Kim Garber at 9.1 on floor to go with Busse’s bars score. Allen had Wawasee’s top all-around figure at 30.95.
“We are always anxious to compete in this meet because of all the teams in our sectional championships there are,” offered Wawasee head coach Nika Prather. “It gives us an opportunity to see what we need to change and how much we need to improve to win against those teams. The outcome was not what we had hoped.”
Wawasee will have to travel to Elkhart Thursday night for a roadie with Elkhart Central at the Factory while Warsaw will host Plymouth, also Thursday night.
1. Angola 102.7
2. Fort Wayne Carroll 100.95
3. DeKalb 100.8
4. Plymouth 100.15
5. Lakeland 96.35
6. Elkhart Central 95.85
7. Wawasee 93.0
8. Warsaw 89.8
9. East Noble 89.7
10. West Noble 77.25
11. Hamilton (Cool) 36.85