New Palestine’s gymnastics team made its presence felt at the Connersville Sectional on Saturday, finishing in a close second with seniors Annabelle Dockins and Tara Morey securing top-10 placements.
Morey, who finished third overall, scored 34.175 points while Dockins finished with 33.850 — good enough for seventh. New Castle junior Kierstyn Cochran won the all-around sectional title with 35.950 points.
As a team, the Dragons scored 101.775 points behind Connersville’s 102.225. New Castle finished third.
“It was a lot of fun, it was a very close meet,” New Palestine coach Jenny Mussleman said. “There was no clear cut leader. They did everything I could have asked for. They did a fantastic job, there was a lot of high pressure gymnastics.”
Dockins won the floor exercise sectional crown with a score of 9.05 and finished fifth on vault (8.95). She also placed ninth on the balance beam (8.325) and 14th on the uneven bars (7.525).
Morey added two fourth place finishes on the floor exercise (8.90) and uneven bars (8.25). She also placed eighth on the balance beam (8.375) and 17th on vault (8.65).
For Dockins, the win on the floor exercise was extra special.
She was awarded extra fractions of a point after a score dispute by the team.
“We can contest what we think there scores should be,” Mussleman said. “It’s the only one I’ve won in the nine years I’ve been coaching.”
Rory Elsea led the team on the balance beam with a fourth place finish and score of 8.65.
“She (Elsea) deliv- ered her best routine of the year,” Musselman added.
Also for New Palestine, sophomore Bailey Watkins finished 13th on the floor exercise and seventh on the balance beam.
Junior Faith Land was eighth on the uneven bars while sophomore Taylor Brown was 11th on vault.
The Dragons now prepare for the Columbus East Regional, where the top three teams and top six individuals (per event) will move on to the state finals.
The top six all-around scores will also move on. Regional action begins at 11 a.m.
The IHSAA State Gymnastic Finals will take place March 12 at Ball State University.