MERRILLVILLE — After suffering a close loss earlier in the week to West Noble, Plymouth gymnastics traveled to Merrillville Saturday where the Lady Pilgrims had to face five Top 20 teams at the Pirate Pride Invitational.
Plymouth scored a season-high 83.3 at Merrillville but still finished in eighth place at the loaded 10-team meet, which was won by No. 8 Portage with a score of 106.125.
Plymouth scored season high team scores on all four events, led by freshman Nicky Davis.
Davis continued her good week after sweeping all five blue ribbons at West Noble by placing in every event at Merrillville except for beam. Davis also set a new Plymouth record on the vault with a score of 9.225, earning her a fourth place finish on the event for the day. She beat the prior record of 9.20 held by 2010 graduate Dani McPherron.
“I had no idea I broke the record to be honest,” said Davis. “Doctor (McPherron) told me, and I didn’t quite know what to do at first. It took a little bit for it to set in. I just hope I can break it again as my scores need to be higher for me to get to state this year.”
In the four years that the Pilgrims have competed in the Pirate Pride Invitational, only two other gymnasts had ever placed in the top 12. MacLain in one event in 2009 and Dani McPherron in five events in 2009 and 2010.
“It’s been a great week for Nicky,” said Plymouth head gymnastics coach Tony McPherron. “She is finally getting some polish to go along with her skills. Half the teams in this field are ranked and she was right there with all those girls. I’m so proud of her and the other girls, especially the freshman, for the way they competed today.”
McPherron was referring to fellow freshmen Brycelyn Garza and Megan Biglane. Garza competed on both the bars and beam, scoring Plymouth’s second highest score on both events. Biglane competed on floor for the Pilgrims despite having just learned her routine in the last week.
The Pilgrims will need all the talent they can muster for their next meet when they host the No. 4-ranked LaPorte Slicers Tuesday. This will be the fifth team ranked in the top 10 the Pilgrims will have faced so far this year. The meet takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the Plymouth auxiliary gym.