The Newton High School gymnastics team had a record team score Saturday, winning the Newton Invitational at Ravenscroft Gym.
The Railers scored a 107.9, followed by Lawrence Free State at 98.85, Lawrence at 96.425, Olathe South at 93.3, Emporia at 91.6 and Olathe North at 40.225.
“If we can pull our bar scores up, we’ll have (108),” Newton coach JoAnne Thaw said. “We hit everything we tried to hit. Now we get a week of just practice and don’t have to travel. Our top three on floor were over nine, our top two on beam, our top two on vault, although one was just a tenth away. Our top score on bars.”
Carlye Anderson won the all-around title at 36.75, followed by Kailey Naysmith in second at 35.95 and Kaylee Anderson in third at 35.2. Becca Meyer scored a 31.05.
“It went pretty well,” Carlye Anderson said. “I hit everything. I took a step out of one of my passes, but I will hit it on the floor. I need to work really hard in practice on the floor to get a new tumbling pass. Also bars could use a little work. I’m working on a new vault to score higher there. We’re not too far from the girls that are taking first.”
“I did really well,” Naysmith said. “I was a little shaky on beam. Other than that, I did pretty well. I was hoping to get a 36 and I was a little short of that, so that was sad. It was my best meet of the season. I’ve been sick and missed a lot of meets. I feel like I’m 100 percent, but because I missed so much, my skills aren’t quite there. I think as a team, we’ll be able to score 108 pretty soon.”
There was an air of uncertainty hanging over the sport in Kansas as proposals were rolled out recently in both the Shawnee Mission and Olathe school districts to eliminate the sport, which would reduce the total number of schools sponsoring gymnastics to four.
The coach of the two Olathe schools present said the measure has been put on hold in both school districts pending further study.
“We were going to send in a video to the board in Olathe to help them make a decision,” Carlye Anderson said. “We want to keep the sport. I remember when I was little, they were talking about cutting it for us. It’s not something we wanted to go through. They kept it. There are a couple of girls in our club team that are the same age I was in 2009 when we won state. I know they’re hoping for the same chance to compete in high school.”
“We just want to make it a very good year for Mrs. Thaw and (assistant Jack Thaw),” Naysmith said. “They’ve put so much into it and we want to give them something back. Three of us are seniors, so it’s our last year. It doesn’t affect us as much. It would be great if they could keep it.”
Newton opened the day with a 27.0 on the vault, led by Kaylee Anderson’s 9.1 and Kailey Naysmith’s 9.0 to take first and third respectively. Carlye Anderson was fifth at 8.9.
On the uneven parallel bars, Newton scored a 25.9, finishing 1-2-3. Carlye Anderson was first at 9.2, followed by Naysmith in second at 8.6 and Kaylee Anderson in third at 8.1.
Newton scored a 27.1 on the balance beam with just one fall total for the entire team for another 1-2-3 finish. Naysmith won at 9.3, followed by Carlye Anderson in second at 9.2 and Kaylee Anderson in third at 8.8.
Newton finished off the meet with a 27.7 on the floor exercises. Carlye Anderson was first at 9.45, followed by Kaylee Anderson in second at 9.2 and Naysmith in fourth at 9.05.
“At practice last week, I was working on a new pass, but I didn’t quite get that in,” Carlye Anderson said. “I wish I could have got it for this competition, but we’ll work on it.”
The Railers are off until Oct. 11, when the team travels to Shawnee Mission South. Newton has just two meets remaining before state, which is Oct. 22 at Shawnee Mission South.
“This week, we’ll really be able to practice, clean some things up and rest a little bit,” JoAnne Thaw said. “We don’t have a meet for a while. We have a couple things we’ll try to put in. … I told them one meet at a time. The girls’ goal is to win state, but it’s one meet at a time.”
Team scores — Newton 107.9, Lawrence Free State 98.85, Lawrence 96.425, Olathe South 93.3, Emporia 91.6, Olathe North 40.225.
All-Around — 1. Carlye Anderson N 36.75, 2. Kailey Naysmith N 35.95, 3. Kaylee Anderson N 35.0, 4. Liliana King-Wilson LFS 33.275, 5. Grace Mayhaw LFS 33.25, 6. Eden Kingery Law. 33.0. Other Newton score — Becca Meyer 31.05.
Vault — 1. K.Anderson N 9.1, 2. King-Wilson LFS 9.05, 3. Naysmith N 9.0, 4. Haylee Weiss Emp. 8.95, 5. C.Anderson N 8.9, 6. Eliana Seidner Law, 8.6. Other Newton scores — Meyer 8.1, Katherine Lindgren 8.0.
Uneven parallel bars — 1. C.Anderson N 9.2, 2. Naysmith N 8.6, 3. K.Anderson N 8.1, 4. Kingery Law. 7.75, 5. Mayhew LFS 7.75, 6. (tie) Kenzie Rorabaugh LFS 7.6, Jordyn Leon Law. 7.6. Other Newton score — Meyer 6.5.
Balance beam — 1. Naysmith N 9.3, 2. C.Anderson N 9.2, 3. K.Anderson N 8.8, 4. Mayhew LFS 8.6, 5. Alyssa Cox Emp. 8.4, 6. Weiss Emp. 8.3. Other Newton scores — Meyer 8.1, Lindgren 7.1.
Floor exercises — 1. C.Anderson N 9.45, 2. K.Anderson N 9.2, 3. King-Wilson LFS 9.125, 4. Naysmith N 9.05, 5. Kingery Law. 8.8, 6. Cox Emp. 8.525. Other Newton scores — Lindgren 8.4, Meyer 8.35.