ELKHART — The Plymouth High School gymnastics team opened its 2013 campaign Thursday night at Elkhart Central with the Blue Blazer Invitational.
The season started on a high note for the Lady Pilgrims as they claimed both the team title and the pairs title at the five-team invite.
Plymouth defeated the host Blue Blazers 99.1 to 98.9 to claim the championship. Wawasee was third with a 93.55, Lakeland fourth with a 90.85, and Warsaw finished in fifth with a 89.8.
“For our first meet I think we did okay,” said Plymouth gymnastics coach Tony McPherron. “After making it to regionals last year we have had a bit of a target on our backs coming into this season. After tonight I think it got a little bit bigger, which is a good motivational tool.”
The meet also paired up two individual gymnasts from each school, combining their top two scores to form one pairs score, and the Plymouth duo of junior Nicky Davis and sophomore Cassi Quissell won the pairs portion of the meet for the second consecutive year.
It was the fifth year in a row that a Plymouth duo has won the pairs portion of the meet.
Davis and Quissell also led a slew of individual placings for the Pilgrims as they each placed in every individual event and in the all-around.
Quissel and senior Traci Longanecker each won an event with Quissel taking first on vault and Longanecker winning beam, and Longanecker also placed in the all-around.
Making her debut for the Pilgrims was freshman Karly Gruett, who just missed a ribbon by finishing 11th on the floor.
“We pulled some skills out of routines tonight as I didn’t think they were ready to compete them yet. We also had too many falls and left too many points on the floor, but we’ve discussed that as a team already. They know they need to keep working hard and improving every day as they are the team to beat right now from the other teams’ viewpoints.”
The Pilgrims get right back into competition Saturday at Valparaiso in the Valpo Pairs meet. There they will face the defending state runners-up in Valpo as well as seeing Elkhart Central for a second time in a two-day span. Meet time is set for noon eastern time.
• BLUE BLAZER INVITATIONAL
Team scores: 1. Plymouth 99.1, 2. Elkhart Central 98.9, 3. Wawasee 93.55, 4. Lakeland 90.85, 5. Warsaw 89.80
Individual Plymouth scores
Vault Bars Beam Floor AA
Katie Galloway 7.5 4.0 5.4 5.7 22.6
Traci Longanecker 8.3 6.6 8.8 (1) 7.7 31.4(7)
Valeria DiTizio 4.0
Nicky Davis 8.5 (6) 7.8 (5) 7.4 (7) 8.7 (4) 32.4(4)
Brycelyn Garza 7.2 6.2 6.0
Kaylee Vendola 7.3 4.0 4.6
Cassi Quissell 8.8 (1) 8.8 (2) 8.5 (3) 8.9 (3) 35.0(2)
Karly Gruett 8.1 4.3 5.4 8.0 25.8