The Newton High School girls’ gymnastics team posted a near 10-point improvement in team score from the season opener, claiming a win over Emporia 92.25-88.2 Tuesday at Ravenscroft Gym.
“I don’t know that we’ve ever had that big of an improvement from one meet to another, but we had some different girls,” Newton coach JoAnne Thaw said. “Having Becca (Meyer) back would make at least a six-point difference on bars. We also have Elise (Jantz) on bars. That helped having them on bars. They all did better. I think all of them had better scores. I don’t expect that much every time out, but if we keep improving, that 92 looks pretty good.”
The average of a team’s top four scores are used for state qualification this year. The top eight teams qualify for state.
Newton was led by junior Toria Thaw, who won all four apparatus to claim the all-around title at 33.75. She scored an 8.8 on the vault, a 7.8 on the uneven parallel bars, an 8.6 on the balance beam and an 8.55 on the floor exercises.
“My scores were so much better than Saturday,” Toria Thaw said. “I scored better in every event. I was able to have a no-fall beam routine, and that was what I was going for. I want to qualify for state again and I want to get scores around or better than what I got today.”
Other Newton placewinners included Acacia Penner, who placed second on the floor at 8.2; and Becca Meyer, who placed third on the beam at 7.6, fourth on the bars at 6.1 and tied for fourth on the floor at 8.0.
Competing for Hesston was freshman Alejandra Medina, who took second in all-around at 30.3. Medina took second on the vault at 8.4, third on the bars at 6.5, fourth on the balance beam at 7.4 and tied for fourth on the floor at 8.0.
“I feel like I did pretty good for my second meet,” Medina said. “I actually did better in every event than vault. I was off .1 than I did Saturday, so I did pretty good.”
Newton and Hesston will be competing as a co-op this season, something the two schools did in the late 1990s and early 2000s, producing state all-around champion Christy Lehman.
“I really like gymnastics,” Medina said. “I’ve been doing it for a couple of years at the Flip-Flop Shop. I moved schools this year to Hesston, and they don’t have a gymnastics team, so I came to practice at Newton. I want to go to state and place, hopefully. I want to do the best I can.”
Saturday at the Shawnee Mission Northwest Invitational, Newton finished ninth out of 14 teams.
Newton posted a team score of 83.30.
Newton was led by Toria Thaw with an all-around score of 31.95. Penner finished with an all-around score of 26.35.
Thaw scored an 8.475 on the vault, a 7.175 on bars, a 8.15 on beam and an 8.15 on floor. Penner scored a 7.8 on vault, a 4.6 on bars, a 5.95 on beam and an 8.0 on floor.
Elise Jantz scored a 7.55 on vault and a 4.95 on beam.
Elisa Fernandez scored a 6.4 on the beam. Elena DeLeon scored a 6.3 on the floor. Georgia Garcia scored a 6.1 on the floor.
Hesston’s Medina scored an 8.525 on vault, a 6.275 on bars, a 7.1 on beam and a 7.85 on floor for a 29.75 all-around.
Newton and Hesston compete Saturday at the Lawrence Free State Invitational.
Newton 92.25, Emporia 88.2, Hesston 30.3
Place winners and Newton-Hesston scores
All-Around — 1. Toria Thaw N 33.75, 2. Alejandra Medina H 30.3, 3. Karalyn Karjala E 29.6, 4. Journey Walburn E 28.4, Acacia Penner 27.3.
Vault — 1. Thaw N 8.8, 2. (tie) Karjala E 8.4, Medina H 8.4, 4. Walburn E 8.2, Penner N 8.1, Elisa Fernandez N 7.9.
Uneven parallel bars — 1. Thaw N 7.8, 2. Riley Johnson E 6.6, 3. Medina H 6.5, 4. Becca Meyer N 6.1, Fernandez N 5.8, Elise Jantz N 5.3, Penner N 4.2.
Balance beam — 1. Thaw N 8.6, 2. Karjala E 7.9, 3. Meyer N 7.6, 4. Medina H 7.4, Penner N 6.8, Fernandez N 4.4.
Floor exercises — 1. Thaw N 8.55, 2. (tie) Penner N 8.2, Karjala E 8.2, 4. (tie) Meyer N 8.0, Medina H 8.0, Fernandez N 7.35. Newton JV: Elena DeLeon 6.75, Georgia Garcia 6.3, Janessa Sutton 6.05.