For a second consecutive year, the North Royalton Gymnastics team is going back to Columbus to compete for a State Championship. This year, the goals are a little higher than in 2018. North Royalton finished sixth in the State last year.
North Royalton head gymnastics coach Jessica Kaiser is glad to see the team head back to Hilliard Bradley High School for the state meet. “We were a little nervous during the district meet. We didn’t give our best performances, but we still finished second which was a pleasant surprise to us that day.”
Among the eight gymnasts who will compete for North Royalton in the state meet are freshmen, Molly Benefiel and Abbey Cigoi; sophomores, Mya Costello, Julia Falcioni, Hannah Haffner and Emily Shuck; and juniors, Avery Keller and Peyton Schrader.
Besides being in the team competition for North Royalton, two Lady Bears gymnasts will be in the individual competition.
Mya Costello will be in the All-Around event as well as individual competitions in the vault, beam, bars and floor exercise. Avery Keller is also in the All-Around event and individual competitions on the bar and the floor.
Coach Kaiser believes that, “both Mya and Avery have a chance at placing in the All-Around event for sure. In reality, Avery is shooting for the Bar title. She has a real chance to be state champ. Mya has qualified in the four events, plus the all-around. I’m sure Mya would love to be the state champ in any of those events.”
Coach Kaiser says, “Avery has a real love and passion for the Bars event. Judges and gymnastics followers always tell us that Avery has a natural rhythm for the event. She has a rhythm for her swing that other kids just don’t have. It’s a quality that I don’t think can be taught. It’s something that is just in them. She loves the sport, but all the extra time she has is dedicated to getting better on Bars.”
Mya will have a busy weekend at the state meet. Coach Kaiser believes that Mya’s biggest improvement from last year to this year is something that doesn’t show up on the scoresheet. “She (Mya) has much more confidence this year. Mya has a lot less nerves than your average athlete. She gets nervous before meets like everyone does, but she has this ability to shut it off and focus on what she needs to do. And this makes her a consistent competitor. It’s hard to shake her.”
“Our girls are so excited to go to the state meet, have fun and compete. When we have fun, we are calmer and do our routines better. We are grateful to be in Columbus. We worked really hard to be here. We’re going to enjoy every second of it. Our nervous time was in the district meet,” said Coach Kaiser.
No matter where the Lady Bears finish in the state meet, congratulations are in order. There are plenty of gymnastics teams in Ohio that would trade places with the North Royalton Girls in an instant.