Twinsburg gymnastics earns third-place finish on Senior Night

Steve Batko
Twinsburg gymnastics scored a first-place finish at its meet Jan. 31. Team members include, front row, from left, Ella Coyne, Katy Okuma, Josie Davis and Lexi Frazier. Back row, from left, are Katie Novak, Alyssa Whitescarver, Cece Radicelli, Ellie Kneisel, Abbey Maurer and Chelsea Beers.

Having an early season meet to honor senior student athletes is so critical this winter sports season and the promising Twinsburg gymnastics program splashed their Senior Night with a bountiful number of good performances.

Twinsburg has an influx of talented young gymnasts and prospects, but the first meet of the 2020-21 campaign was more about senior experience, dedication and some positive memories.

Head coach Maggie Benedetti saw her seniors help Twinsburg to a third-place overall finish in a seven-team meet Senior Night Jan. 23.

A small senior class includes Katy Okuma, Lexi Frazier and Abbey Maurer for the Tigers.

After the effort on Senior Night, Benedetti was even more pumped up after Twinsburg grabbed first-place in a meet Saturday and recorded a superb score of 131.3 in a meet that included Aurora, Chagrin Falls, West Geauga,  Notre Dame Cathedral-Latin, Parma Padua and Orange.

“We took first of three teams,” offered Benedetti, of the action at Mayfield.

“This was one of the best team meet efforts that I have seen since I started coaching at Twinsburg five years ago,” emphasized Benedetti.

An exciting freshmen class showed its promise in the meet.

Alyssa Whitescarver and another gifted freshman Josie Davis each registered first-place finishes in the meet.

Davis snagged first-place wither a great routine in the floor exercise. Her score was 9.35. Whitescarver was first on the vault with a score of 8.85.

Whitescarver took second-place in the all-around competition with a strong mark of 35.4. She was second on the bars with a score of 8.5, third in the floor at 9.2, and was fourth on the balance beam with a score of 8.45.

With a great effort, Okuma finished third overall on the vault with a score of 8.6.

Davis was fourth in the all-around competition with a mark of 33.25. She was fifth on the bars with a score of 8.05 and was ninth on the vault with an 8.1.

Junior standout Ellie Kneisel impressed with her floor routine as she scored at 9.15, which was fifth overall. She was also 10th on the beam, receiving a tally of 7.8

Frazier had a good vault mark of 8.05 to place 10th overall, Okuma was 10th in the all around with a 30.8, and freshman Katie Novak, who finished 10th on the bars with a score of 7.25.

“These girls really push and inspire one another,” pointed out Benedetti. “This is such a young and talented team. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.”

The Tigers were edged by Walsh Jesuit for second place in the Senior Night meet. It was a meet that was hosted by the Tigers at their home Twinsburg venue, Gym World Twinsburg.

Twinsburg scored a team score of 128.350 in a meet that included athletes from Hudson, Walsh, Nordonia, Stow-Munroe Falls, and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.

“I am super proud of this team,” commented Benedetti.

Davis registered an impressive third place in the floor exercise with a routine that produced an outstanding score of 9.0.

For Davis, that was the highest place for the Tigers, who continue to improve each time they perform.

Also having a good day was Okuma, who finished fourth overall in a good field of performers on the beam. Okuma posted a strong mark of 8.7 as the veteran has loads of experience.

Whitescarver had a pair of sixth-place efforts on the vault and in the floor exercise. She put up a nice 8.85 score in the floor and an 8.8 on the vault.

Benedetti praised her trio of seniors, who have put in the work throughout their careers.

Maurer and Frazier both competed on the vault and recorded scores of 7.6 and 7.4, respectively.

Davis finished sixth on the bars with a score of 8.1, and led the team in the all-around competition with a score of 32.2, which was eight overall.

Whitescarver was right behind Davis in the all-around as she placed ninth with a mark of 32.1.

Okuma added a strong mark of 8.2 on the vault and finished ninth overall and had an all-around score of 31.7, including an 8.35 in the floor exercise and a 6.95 on the bars.

Leading the Tigers on the bars in the meet was Davis, who notched a scored of 8.1. She was sixth overall and added an 8.1 on the vault and a 7.0 on the beam.

Also competing well on the beam was Whitescarver, who received a 7.95 and added a 6.5 on the bars.

Kneisel shined in the floor exercise with a tally of 8.6 and added a 7.15 on the beam.

Cassandra Appell, a promising freshman, scored a solid 7.95 on the beam and had a 6.7 in the floor exercise.

Two more athletes comprise a talented and large freshman class – they are Novak and Ella Coyne.

Novak continues to improve as she earned a score of 7.85 on the bars, had a 7.5 in the floor exercise, and added a 7.7 on the vault.

Coyne chipped in with a solid 7.7 on the beam and contributed on the bars with a 6.1 mark.

Sophomore Cece Radicelli is also back for the Tigers this winter. She scored a 6.5 on the beam in the meet.

Twinsburg also has a returning in sophomore Chelsea Beers, who can contribute on the bars.

“I can’t wait to see where we will go this season,” proclaimed the energetic Benedetti.

Benedetti is looking at adding a meet or two to prepare for the challenging sectional championships this winter.

Hudson continues another strong season as the Explorers grabbed first-place over Walsh and Twinsburg in the meet.

Ava Guistino was crowned all-around champion as the Hudson standout earned an all-around score of 35.150. Guistino also finished in second place on bars, fifth place on both the beam and floor, and eighth overall on the vault.