NEW PALESTINE — The Columbus North and New Palestine gymnastics teams are quite familiar with one another.
After finishing in first and second place at the Columbus East Regional last season, with both teams winning sectional titles, Dragons head coach Jenny Musselman knew Thursday’s meet against the ever-steady Bull Dogs would give her squad a solid idea of where they stand three meets into the year.
Musselman learned just how big of a test Columbus North will be at season’s end. Behind Ashley Holliday’s four individual wins, Columbus North beat New Palestine 109-96.75 on Thursday. Holliday’s all-around score was 37.45.
For the Dragons, junior Tara Morey led the team with an all-around score of 32.30. Senior Faith Land scored a 32.075 while classmate Annabelle Dockins finished with a 31.70.
“We definitely have a lot of room to improve,” Musselman said. “There are definitely spots to polish up and just looking cleaner overall. It’s key simple fixes.
“They (Columbus North) are in our regional again. They are a good team.”
On vault, Columbus North (3-0) edged New Palestine (1-2) by just over a point, 27.50-26.10. Holliday won the event with a 9.6 while Claire Thompson scored a 9.1 for the Bulldogs.
Dockins led the Dragons with a 8.95 while Land scored a 8.7. Morey finished with an 8.4.
The Bull Dogs finished ahead of the Dragons on the uneven bars, too, with 27.575 points as New Palestine scored 22.525. Holliday won the event, as well, with a score of 9.45.
“It wasn’t our best meet, but we are going home with no injuries,” Columbus North co-coach Bob Arthur said. “We were just a little sloppy in certain areas. It starts from the bottom up.”
For the Dragons, Land led the team with a 7.95 on the uneven bars as Morey scored a 7.75. Taylor Brown finished with a 6.825.
On the floor exercise, Holliday won with a 9.2 and Thompson was second with a 9.05. Rylee Elsea led New Palestine with a 8.175 while Bailey Watkins scored a 7.925.
Dockins led the Dragons with a 8.15 on the balance beam while Morey scored a 7.925. Land finished with a 7.675.
“Annabelle had a really good night besides her floor exercise,” Musselman said. “She played it safe, which is what we prefer. With Faith, every meet she is getting better. They are doing a really good job and I’m seeing a lot of promise.”
The Bull Dogs have previous wins against Columbus East and Bloomington North this season. The Dragons were edged by Connersville in the team’s first meet this year but topped Shelbyville on Jan. 14.
New Palestine returns to action at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Richmond Invitational while Columbus North will head home for a Jan. 28 meet against Bloomington South.
New Palestine – 96.75
Vault – 26.10
Uneven Bars – 22.525
Balance Beam – 23.75
Floor Exercise – 24.375
Columbus North – 109
Vault – 27.50
Uneven Bars – 27.575
Balance Beam – 27.10
Floor Exercise – 26.825