BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — Maumee and Anthony Wayne were both represented at the state gymnastics meet last weekend.
Competing for the Panthers, sophomore Courtney Crawford scored a 9.1 on the beam, which put her in a three-way tie for 14th place out of 36 participants.
She missed earning All-Ohio status by four spots, which goes to the top 10 gymnasts in each event. The meet was split into two sessions. Crawford was seventh after one session but could not hold on through the second.
Scoring a nine or better at the state meet is an honor, however, said Maumee coach Megan Wojtkowiak.
“It is very hard to get a nine at state and actually she scored higher at state than she did at the district championships,” she said.
Crawford, a second-team All-Northern Lakes League gymnast who helped the Panthers finish third in the conference meet, scored a 9.075 on the beam at the district meet to advance to state, where she shared 14th place with Presey Graham (Chagrin Falls Kenston) and Natalie Reising (Cincinnati Anderson).
Paige Yu (Medina Highland) won the beam championship with a score of 9.675.
Wojtkowiak said Craw-ford came into the event well prepared and she kept her nerves steady on the big stage.
“She does not let her nerves get to her,” she said. “Actually, I was very surprised. We were first up at beam, she was the second competitor of the day and she had never been to state before, so I anticipated some nerves.
“She was just as solid as can be. She always has a solid routine at practice and she did not even act like it was phasing her that she had four judges watching her.”
Wojtkowiak hopes Crawford’s experience at state this year will help motivate her for next year.
“We’re hoping next year she’ll make it for every event. That’s our goal,” she said.
“Courtney and I talked about it this weekend. She was close. She was only two places off an alternate in the all-around and then she was right after that alternate at districts.”
AW sophomore Emily Liskai placed 29th on the beam with a score of 8.55, but she was also competing on the bars, floor and all-around.
Liskai scored 8.475 (26th) on the bars and 8.875 (30th) in the floor exercise. She had a 9.325 in the vault and an all-around score of 35.225 to finish 29th.
“In Emily’s second trip to states, she scored her highest vault score of the year with a 9.325,” said AW coach Faye Smith. “She was also able to improve on both her bars and floor scores compared to last year’s states meet.”
Anthony Wayne junior Hannah Chen also qualified in the vault and all-around, while freshman Brooke Miller competed at state in the vault.
Miller scored 8.9 in the vault, to finish tied for 28th place with West Chester Lakota West gymnast Olivia Leonard.
“Both girls did a great job this year at states,” Smith said. “They were able to keep their nerves at a minimum and perform their routines with confidence.
“They supported each other throughout the meet and did a great job. This was Brooke’s first time at the state meet and she stayed calm and collected and did a great job on vault.
“I was very proud of both girls and how much they have accomplished this year.”
Other champions were Kaitlyn Dembie (Brecks-ville-Broadview Heights) in the vault (9.725), Jordyn Thomas (Brunswick) in the floor (9.65) and Yu in the bars (9.625) and all-around (38.425).