The Newton High School gymnastics team is heading down the final stretch of the season and looking to qualify for state as a team.
The Railers took a step forward Saturday by winning the seven-team Newton Invitational at Ravenscroft Gym.
Newton edged Lawrence Free State for the team title 98.95-98.225. Olathe South was third at 95.475, followed by Lawrence at 95.075, Shawnee Mission North at 88.65, Emporia at 88.625 and Shawnee Mission West at 36.425.
“I wasn’t even keeping track of the scores, so I was really surprised,” Newton coach JoAnne Thaw said. “We haven’t hit on everything yet. Getting Kaylee (Anderson) back really helps. She had an awesome meet. Toria had a really good meet. It just came together. We still have a lot to do, and I think we can raise it. My goal is to get it to 100.”
Newton was led by Kaylee Anderson, who won the all-around at 35.275. Anderson won the vault at 9.0, the uneven parallel bars at 8.05, the balance beam at 9.3 and took second in the floor exercises at 8.925.
“That was really surprising,” Anderson said. “I was out a few meets because I was injured. I just came back. It really surprised me to come out on top. I think I got my high in almost every event today. It was definitely really close. We have two more meets before state. We need to keep improving.”
Freshman Toria Thaw also claimed five medals. Thaw was third in the vault at 8.8, fifth on the bars at 7.45, sixth on the beam at 8.1 and sixth on the floor at 8.55.
It was the first time she medaled in all four events.
“My scores weren’t my best, but I think I did well on all of them at the same time,” she said. “I’m starting to get used to the floor, and that’s a big plus. In club, you have a spring floor. It does a lot of the bouncing for you when you’re tumbling. Here, you have to do a lot of that all by yourself. … I just want to continue to improve and get my bars score up.”
JoAnne Thaw is Toria’s grandmother.
“It’s fun,” Toria said. “I didn’t think I’d get to do that. I’d thought she’d retire before that. I’m so happy I get to.”
Newton competes Oct. 9 at Emporia and then competes in an all-around meet Oct. 10 at Shawnee Mission South.
The top eight teams based on the average of the top four meet scores qualify for state as a team.
“We’re sitting in ninth right now,” JoAnne Thaw said. “We need this meet and our next meet to get it up there. At Lawrence, Lawrence beat us by two full points, and we had Kaylee there. South beat us last Tuesday with Kaylee. … I expect us to do well at Emporia and try to hit 100. They can do it. They have all decided what they need to do.”
Team scores — Newton 98.95, Lawrence Free State 98.225, Olathe South 95.475, Lawrence 95.075, Shawnee Mission North 88.65, Emporia 88.625, Shawnee Mission West 36.425.
Medalists and Newton finishers
All-Around — 1. Kaylee Anderson N 35.275, 2. Eden Kingery L 35.075, 3. Talia Gay LFS 34.550, 4. Mikyla Williams LFS 33.05. 5. Toria Thaw N 32.9, 6. Alaina Urman OS 31.95. Becca Meyer N 30.775.
Vault — 1. Anderson N 9.0, 2. Kingery L 8.9, 3. (tie) Thaw N 8.8, Haylee Weiss E 8.8, Gay LFS 8.8, 6. Alexis Chai OS 8.6. Meyer N 8.3, Allie Casey 7.5.
Uneven parallel bars — 1. Anderson N 8.05, 2. Kingery L 7.95, 3. Gay LFS 7.8, 4. Riley Hilton SMN 7.5, 5. Thaw N 7.45, 6. Williams LFS 7.35. Meyer N 6.9.
Balance beam — 1. Anderson 9.3, 2. Kingery L 9.225, 3. Gay LFS 9.1, 4. Williams LFS 8.45, 5. Urman OS 8.35, 6. Thaw N 8.1. Meyer N 7.325, Trista Stark N 7.05, Casey N 6.075.
Floor exercises — 1. Kingery L 9.0, 2. Anderson N 8.925, 3. (tie) Williams LFS 8.85, Gay LFS 8.85, 5. Porsche Mahakijkittichai OS 8.6, 6. Thaw N 8.55.