WARSAW — Last year, Warsaw’s gymnastics team had a goal to break the 100-point barrier but never quite reached the mark after star gymnast Remi Beckham was sidelined with a knee injury late in the season.
Helped by the return of a healthy Beckham, the Lady Tigers finally broke through and then some in their season-opener Tuesday, racking up a 101.9 score to visiting East Noble’s 99.3 and generally starting the season on a high note at the Tigers’ home turf at the Whitman Group building on Parker Street.
“Last season our goal was 100 all season. We came close right at the end, and then Remi got hurt before sectional so we weren’t able to see what would happen,” recalled Warsaw coach Tonya Douglass. “I was very pleased. I wasn’t expecting it. I knew the girls could step up so it was really nice to see that total at the end of the night. I’m very pleased with that and excited to see where the rest of the season is going to go.”
Beckham earned wins in three of four events Tuesday on the way to a second-place result in the all-around competition.
She opened her junior season with a field-best 8.7 on the vault, recorded an 8.4 on the uneven bars for another first there and closed the evening with a 9.1 performance in her strongest event, the floor exercise. Despite winning four events, Beckham wound up in second place to East Noble’s Ciara Honeycutt in the all-around. The difference-maker came on the balance beam as Beckham scored 8.150 for fifth place in her lowest score of the night, while Honeycutt notched an 8.950, a score that boosted the East Noble senior to a 34.450 tally in the all-around, just .1 of a point ahead of Beckham.
“Overall yes, I’m very happy. It’s our first meet of the season, so just trying to get a lot of the first meet jitters out. I’m very pleased with Remi and how she stepped up and got things accomplished today,” said Douglass.
If the Lady Tigers had some first-meet jitters, they certainly didn’t show it in their opening event Tuesday.
Warsaw swept the top four places in the vault, sophomore Daylen Turner scoring an 8.6 just behind Beckham’s 8.7 for runner-up honors, while her younger sister, freshman Adree Beckham made her high school debut with an 8.5 score for third place, and sophomore Megan Metzger’s 8.450 earned her fourth place to complete the clean sweep.
“We’re not throwing the super, super hard skills, but we’re very clean. So that’s what we’ve just been focusing on is clean on vault, and that’s what we want on all our other events as well,” Douglass explained.
Turner finished fourth in the all-around tally behind East Noble’s Miah Hudson, placing third in both the beam and on the floor with respective scores of 8.450 and 8.8 on her way to 33.050 cumulative points for the night. Metzger was close behind with 32.850 in the all-around, her best finish on the bars, where her 8.350 earned her second place honors. Junior Anna Wainscott’s 8.850 on the beam earned her second place there, and she collected 31.850 points for fifth place in the all-around race.
With the strong start to the season, the Lady Tigers now turn their attention to another dual meet with Fort Wayne Carroll at home Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. They’ll return to action a final time this week at Saturday’s 11-team Plymouth Invitational, scheduled for 11 a.m.
“I’m very pleased with this meet — the first time we’ve broken 100 in several, several years, so I’m pretty proud of that,” said Douglass.
“They really stepped up to the plate, and I saw some things that we’ve been working on that I was really pleased with. We’ve still got a few things to work on, but it’s the beginning of the season. We’re just working toward sectionals right now.”