GRANGER TWP. — Meghan Deighton and McKinley Kerans locked up an undefeated regular season for the Medina gymnastics team.
Deighton finished first in the all-around and floor exercise, while Kerans claimed the balance beam Monday as the Bees scored a season-high 135.45 to earn an intracounty sweep of Buckeye and Cloverleaf. The Bucks posted a 131.0 and the Colts had 124.1.
Medina (9-0) also received second-place showings from sophomore Addison Kasian on the uneven parallel bars and senior Nicole Cannon on the beam at Pinnacle Gymnastics.
“It’s unbelievable how much we’re winning and how we continue to take so many firsts,” said Deighton, who qualified for the 2018 state meet as a freshman. “We’ve all improved so much since last year because we had a lot of time to push skills in the offseason.
“It was really fun to compete against some girls and teams who we know pretty well tonight.”
Buckeye junior Madisyn Meers captured the uneven parallel bars (8.9), while freshman teammate Anna Theis (8.5) was first on the vault. The Bucks and Cloverleaf also netted their top scores of the season in a non-invitational meet.
All six placers in the all-around figure to be factors in the postseason. Deighton (34.65), Meers (34.0), Kerans (33.8), Medina sophomore Addison Kasian (33.5), Cloverleaf freshman Ashley Sigmon (32.45) and Theis (32.35) brought out the best in each other in their initial head-to-head competition.
“This was a really different meet for us, which made it a lot of fun,” Sigmon said. “I got a feel for the skill level that I might go against at sectionals, and it showed me what I need to work on.”
Kerans was solid in her first two seasons, but has taken a significant step forward as a junior, as evidenced by her career-best 9.1 on the beam. Fourth-year letterwinner Cannon also set her career high of 9.05 in the event, while sophomore Jenna Sterk (9.0) and Deighton (9.0) helped Medina take the top four spots.
The Bees flexed their muscles on the floor, as well, as Deighton (9.05) and Kerans (8.95) went one-two. Kasian, who had won the beam in every meet this season, added a double-back handspring to her routine in preparation for the Greater Cleveland Conference Meet.
“We’re definitely pushing each other in practice and our confidence is going up,” Kasian said. “Nicole helps keeping us loose and making sure we’re having a good time every day, and I know my team has my back, which is why I added the double-back tonight.”
Meers made her return to the all-around after being hobbled for more than two weeks with a hyperextended left knee. The two-time district qualifier echoed Sigmon’s comments about gauging the competition, but expressed concern about being fully healthy in time for the West Geauga Sectional in two weeks.
Buckeye’s improving depth was reflected in Theis’ third on the floor and a third-place finish by junior Aurora Yager on the vault.
“I performed the best I could, so I’m very grateful to get second in the all-around,” Meers said. “It wasn’t the greatest day for me, but I’m not complaining because our team did well.”
Cloverleaf defeated Canton McKinley 124.1-120.4 in a concurrent North East Gymnastics Conference contest. Phoenix Lee of the Bulldogs won all five individual events in the final tune-up before the league’s Winter Classic.
In the latter meet, Colts junior Emily Romano was the runner-up on the beam, sophomore Melinda Thielenhaus was second on the vault and Corina Rivera celebrated her senior night with a second on floor.