The Newton High School gymnastics team continues its push to try and get in the top eight in the state rankings to qualify for the state meet, finishing second Saturday at the Newton Invitational.

Lawrence Free State won the team title at 100.45, followed by Newton at 93.05, Emporia at 91.075, Lawrence at 90.4 and Hesston at 29.75.

The average of a team’s top four scores is used to determine state qualification with the top eight teams qualifying.

“(Going into the final event), I think Emporia was ahead of us, so this was pretty good,” Newton coach JoAnne Thaw said. “… The girls are grateful this is over, since we worked them so hard on their cardio. The finished on floor a lot better than they have.”

Paris Spotted-Tail of Lawrence won the all-around competition at 33.525. She won the floor exercises at 9.125. Talia Gay of Lawrence Free State, the defending state all-around champion, won the uneven parallel bars at 9.0 and the balance beam at 8.95. She skipped all-around competition because of injury. Zoe Williams of Free State won the vault at 9.15.

Newton claimed a pair of all-around medalists — junior Toria Thaw in second at 32.8 and the team’s sole senior, Becca Meyer, in fifth in 30.75. Elise Jantz scored a 29.1 and Elisa Fernandez scored a 28.2.

Toria Thaw claimed three other medals — second in the bars at 7.9, second on the floor at 8.75 and third on the vault at 8.65.

“I fell a couple times on beam, so I can improve that,” Toria Thaw said. “I have to work harder in practice. I have to work on my routines over and over to avoid any wobbles.”

Meyer was fourth on the bars at 6.6 and fourth on the floor at 8.6. She had Newton’s sole no-fall beam routine at 7.25.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Meyer said. “Beam was shaky, no lie, but I was able to managed to pull a no-fall. I need to kick it into high gear. In practice, I need to rep those routines and fixing any little mistakes — tenths here and there to get our scores up for state.”

“Two all-around medalists is very good, especially since Lawrence Free State has some of the best all-arounds in the state,” JoAnne Thaw said. “(Gay) hurt her knee, and this was her first meet back, so she’ll be ready for state.

Hesston’s sole gymnast, Alejandra Medina, placed eighth in all-around at 29.75, missing a medal by .9 points. Medina was seventh on the vault at 8.5, missing a medal by .05 points.

Newton and Hesston each have two meets remaining before state – Tuesday at Olathe South at the Mill Creek Center and Oct. 14 in a dual meet at Emporia. The state meet is Oct. 26 at Olathe South.

“If we can score like this again at Olathe and Emporia, we should be able to get to state,” JoAnne Thaw said. “We were in ninth behind Emporia, but we won’t be now. We’ll be able to drop one of our low scores. We should be OK. I’m really proud of the girls. Our JV girls haven’t had much experience at all. They came in and did well. Janessa Sutton has never done gymnastics (before this season) and competed in all-around today.”

Newton Inv.


Ravenscroft Gym

Medalists and area results

Team scores — Lawrence Free State 100.45, Newton 93.05, Emporia 91.075, Lawrence 90.4, Hesston 29.75.

All-Around — 1. Paris Spotted-Tail Law. 33.525, 2. Toria Thaw N 32.8, 3. Tori Crockett LFS 32.35, 4. Chaney Finkdeldei LFS 31.375, 5. Becca Meyer New. 30.75, 6. Karalyn Karjala E 30.65. Other area competitors: 8. Alejandra Medina H 29.75, 12. Elise Jantz N 29.1, 13. Elisa Fernandez N 28.2. Newton JV: 4. Janessa Sutton 21.2.

Vault — 1. Zoe Williams LFS 9.15, 2. Spotted-Tail Law. 9.05, 3. Thaw N 8.65, 4. Ashley Mai LFS 8.6, 5. (tie) Karjala E 8.55, Crockett LFS 8.55. Other area competitors: 7. Medina H 8.5, 14. Jantz N 8.0, 17. Meyer N 7.9, 19. Fernandez N 7.7. Newton JV: 5. Sutton 7.3.

Uneven parallel bars — 1. Talia Gay LFS 9.0, 2. Thaw N 7.9, 3. Crockett LFS 7.3, 4. Meyer N 7.0, 5. Spotted-Tail Law. 6.9, 6. Finkeldei LFS 6.8. Other area competitors: 8. Jantz N 6.6, 9. Medina H 6.55, 13. Fernandez N 5.7. Newton JV: 5. Georgia Garcia 3.6, 6. Sutton 3.4.

Balance beam — 1. Gay LFS 8.95, 2. Williams LFS 8.5, 3. (tie) Spotted-Tail Law. 8.45, Crockett LFS 8.45, 5. Finkeldei LFS 8.1, Journey Walburn E 7.85. Other area competitors: 9. Thaw N 7.5, 11. Meyer N 7.25, 12. Fernandez N 7.2, 14. Jantz N 6.8, 15. Medina H 6.5. Newton JV: 5. Garcia 5.6, 7. Sutton 4.3.

Floor exercises — 1. Spotted-Tail Law. 9.125, 2. Thaw N 8.75, 3. Karjala E 8.7, 4. Meyer N 8.6, 5. Finkeldei LFS 8.525, 6. Williams LFS 8.4. Other area competitors: 9. Medina H 8.2, 14. Jantz 7.7, 15. Fernandez N 7.6. Newton JV: 6. Garcia 6.4, 8. Sutton 6.2.