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Published: Saturday, 3/1/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

Springfield, Findlay gymnasts strong

Devils 11th, Trojans 8th at state gymnastics

BY JARROD ULREY
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

HILLIARD — With its sights on improving its finish as it made a second consecutive appearance in the state gymnastics meet, Springfield didn't let its circumstances get in the way Friday at Hilliard Bradley.

For the Blue Devils’ only senior, Jacey Gray, that meant not skipping out on the meet despite battling a sickness that she believes might have been tonsillitis.

“It’s my senior year, so I wanted to make sure I competed, sick or not,” Gray said. “I had a good meet.”

Springfield was 11th in its first state-meet appearance a year ago and again placed 11th, but its score of 133.375 far surpassed last year’s 129.85.

Findlay took eighth (138.00) as Brecksville-Broadview Heights scored 144.625 to win its 11th consecutive championship.

The Trojans showed consistency, turning in scores of 34.350 on vault, 34.475 on bars, 34.550 on beam, and 34.625 on floor to come close to the score (139.13) that got them fourth place a year ago.

Leah Thomas led Findlay on floor with an 8.8, Cassidy Pruitt turned in a 9.075 on vault and 8.95 on beam, and Tori Cox had an 8.85 on bars.

Another solid score on vault was Maranda Butler’s 8.725.

“Maranda Butler was strong on floor and Leah Thomas did well on beam,” coach Traci Dunn said. “Our team was flat, a little tired and vault didn’t go so well. We've been very consistent. They all had some experience at the state meet, so that was good.”

The only senior in Findlay’s program was Tiffany Crawford, who competed on bars.

Butler and Cox are juniors, Pruitt is a freshman, and the sophomores at state were Lacey Thomas, Leah Thomas, and Bridget Dunn.

“We were hoping to make it to state again, and we were nervous at district,” Butler said. “It’s great being here. I like it. It would be great to make it again next year.”

Springfield’s best score was a 34.475 on floor. It also scored 33.525 on beam, 33.425 on vault, and 31.950 on bars.

Gray led on vault with an 8.825 and on bars with an 8.325. On floor, Gray scored 8.7, Caeli Barnes had an 8.65, and Cassandra Frantz scored 8.5. Kaylynn Frantz scored 8.7, Barnes had an 8.425, and Gray scored 8.35 in beam.

In today’s individual state meet, Pruitt will be on bars, Butler will compete on vault, and Cox will compete in all-around for Findlay.

For Springfield, Kaylynn Frantz will be in the all-around and Cassandra Frantz will be on vault.

“We did better than last year,” coach Jessie Hodulik said. “Unfortunately, [Gray] was sick. She downgraded her vault, bar, and floor. Normally she’s our top competitor, but she has a head cold really bad, and when you’re tumbling, that’s hard.

“Everybody is returning next year except for Jacey, so that’s good. There are some very good teams here. Last year we fell apart on beam and this year we had three of them stay on."



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