SYRACUSE – While not on the sectional agenda, Fort Wayne Carroll provided and will again provide meter for Wawasee in the season circuit. A 108.05-102.175 Carroll gymnastics victory exposed a few trends for Wawasee, which will see Carroll again at the Lakeland Invite in a month and possibly in the regional in March.
Wawasee has now hit 102 points in three consecutive meets, adding its tallies against Angola and at the Blazer Invite. While formidable numbers and certainly a step in the right direction for a injury-riddled squad, head coach Nika Prather is slowly becoming frustrated her team hasn’t moved forward in three weeks.
“I don’t want our girls to be happy just because they got a nine on an event,” said Prather. “Reagan (Atwood) should be shooting for 9.5, 9.75s. Jada (Parzygnot) should be well over nine by now. We have the girls who should be able to score big and we just aren’t there yet for whatever reason, even though our team scores have been 102s. But Elkhart is going to score much higher than that, Carroll certainly did tonight. Even Warsaw was over 100 the other day. We have to find a way to get these scores up.”
Wawasee had just one top score the entire night, that being a 9.58 on floor from Atwood. The senior would take second on vault (9.05), beam (9.05) and all-around (35.7), and saw at least a glimpse of improvement on vault, where she landed a new skill with a double tuck off her launch, and hit the first landing before wobbling on her second.
But an uncharacteristic near fall on bars landed her in sixth, and another rarity in Parzygnot not finishing higher than fourth in any event – only fourth on floor – put Prather’s assessment of the ebbs of consistency into motion.
“Status quo no mo,” laughed Prather. “But in all seriousness, we have to make things better and make things harder. We have to increase our quality, and connecting skills. We have three no-fall beam routines and only Reagan’s is a nine, and Jada’s wasn’t close (8.23). We should feel confident in these routines, and there are so many wobbles and point deductions we can’t explain.”
Carroll had the aptly named McKinley Carroll win the all-around with a 36.18, showing the best beam routine at 9.4. Ashelynn Steinke added top marks on vault at 9.1 and bars at 9.2, and was third in all-around at 35.5 while Jill Hoffmann was second at 35.63.
Wawasee will compete Saturday at the Plymouth Invite, an 11-team showcase, before heading to West Noble Tuesday.