Jarrod Ulrey reports
There was plenty of ice to go around for Mason’s competitors by the conclusion of the state team gymnastics meet Friday at Hilliard Bradley.
Mason senior Jenna Bovenzi scored a 8.95 in the vault competition at the state meet March 2, 2012. Bovenzi and her gymnastics team finished the 2012 state meet in fourth place. Photo taken by Amanda Davidson at a prior event.
Sophomore Audrey Harpen was showered with hugs and then received a huge ice pack on her left ankle after turning in a team-best 9.05 on the balance beam.
Senior Amythest Gauthier laid on her stomach watching the end of the competition with ice on the middle of her pack.
While it was the kind of scene that could have been painful to watch for coach Kelly Wones and her team, it proved more like a part of the celebration of what the Comets had overcome.
After finishing last a year ago, Mason turned in program-best fourth-place finish with a score of 140.25.
Brecksville-Broadview Heights won its ninth consecutive state championship, and 12th overall, with 148.00. Mentor (143.875) and Strongsville (141.325) rounded out the top three.
“It’s amazing,” Wones said. “It’s hard to finish on beam, and they knew to do well that they had to stick it on beam. I’m really proud of them. We’ve never placed higher than seventh before.”
Harpen’s injury occurred Monday while doing a practice routine on the floor exercise.
Gauthier, who battles chronic back problems, scored a team-best 9.3 on floor while Harpen scored 8.85 in the event.
Mason’s best finish came on vault, where it scored 35.85. Harpen scored 9.05, senior Jenna Bovenzi scored 8.95 and Gauthier and sophomore Brooke Middleton both scored 8.925.
On bars, Gauthier had a team-best 9.025 and Harpen scored 8.7.
“It feels better now that I’m done,” Harpen said. “I was just trying to get over this and compete. I was in practice and I landed sideways and it popped. I’ve never really been injured before this.”
Both Harpen and Gauthier competed in club gymnastics last year and were new to the program this winter. Harpen didn’t join the team until December.
Neither, however, would trade the experience of helping Mason reach new heights.
“I just recently joined the team, and it’s been way more fun (than club),” Harpen said. “Some of the teams here are really good, but I thought we fit in pretty well.”
“I fractured my back last year and it’s not really gotten a lot better,” Gauthier said. “Last year we were in last place (at state). To come out and be competitive like this is huge. We have 10 girls and we’ve had 10 girls the whole season. We’ve had to overcome some adversity. I wanted to feel like I was part of a team and I feel like I’ve gotten the full experience.”
Both Gauthier and Harpen will compete all-around and Middleton will compete on vault during the individual state meet today at Bradley.
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