WARSAW – There was not much of a contest between the Wawasee and Warsaw gymnastic teams when the two county rivals squared off at Warsaw’s Career Center Gymnasium.
The Lady Tigers, riddled by injuries all season, found themselves short-handed again on Monday night while the Lady Warriors were almost completely healthy. Wawasee used its advantage in numbers and talent to capture a 92.725-78.2 victory over host Warsaw.
“We have been hit with injuries since the season started,” said Warsaw head coach Megan Kammerer. “We just lost another girl on Saturday at the Lakeland Invitational. Tonight we only had one event where we had more than three girls compete. So, it has been rough and we are really just trying to make it to sectionals healthy at this point.
The one event that the Lady Tigers were able to field four gymnasts in was the vault. Kristen Holladay started Warsaw off strong in the event with a score of 8.00. Molly Borchers fared well with her score of 7.50 while Celeste Clayson scored a 7.7 in her only event on the night. Shannon Winslow led the Lady Tigers with an 8.35 and placed second in the even.
Winslow was the one constant for Warsaw on Monday night. The junior took second place in three of the evenings four events. Winslow scored a 7.7 on beam, an 8.05 with her floor routine and finished fifth on bars with a 6.80.Finally, Winslow placed second in the all-around with a 30.90.
Wawasee’s Emily Allen was Winslow’s biggest competitor on the night and Allen showed her skills by earning first in three events. Allen scored and 8.50 with her floor routine and followed it up with an 8.40 on beam. Allen captured an 8.60 on vault. The worst event of the night for the Wawasee junior was her first, uneven bars, but Allen still placed second with a 7.375. In the all-around Allen again placed first with a score of 33.225.
Taylor Busse took first on the uneven bars for Wawasee in her only event of the night with a scored of 8.05. Molly Smith (7.10) placed third on bars while Borchers (6.85) placed fourth.
Smith made herself comfortable in the third place position as she occupied the spot not just for bars but also floor (7.70), vault (8.20) and beam (6.70). Of course, Smith would also place third in the all-around (29.70).
Though picking up a win was nice for Wawasee head coach Nika Prather, she knows the team has to get better if it wants to make it out of the sectional.
“The things that we need to be fixing, aren’t getting fixed,” Prather said bluntly. “It’s not from a lack of trying, it’s just that the girls are not focusing on what they need to be focusing on. Taylor Busse competed in just one event tonight because she is still hurt, that has effected our score a little but mainly the falls on beam have been killing us.
“We’ve tried to switch things up, change skills and it has just become frustrating for me and Sarah (Wegener) and the girls. So, we have put some JV girls in varsity spots on beam trying to find someone that can be consistent for us.”
Wawasee will hope to find that consistency on Thursday night when it welcomes in Elkhart Central. Warsaw will travel to Plymouth on Wednesday night. Both meets start at 6:30 p.m.