Published in The News-Herald
February 22, 2020
Kenston freshman Mary Cowan has been a gymnast since she was 5.
That long history in the sport didn’t make her immune to some nervous butterflies in the district gymnastics meet at West Geauga on Feb. 22, though.
Shrugging off the nerves of her first district meet as a high school gymnast, Cowan placed in the top 10 in all four events — bars, beam, floor exercise and vault — which enabled her to place four in the all-around competition.
The spectacular performance allowed her to advance to the state meet Feb 28-29 at Hillard Bradley.
“I’m so excited,” said Cowan, a bubbly ninth-grader. “I did everything to the best of my ability. My team also had a really good meet, so that’s exciting.
“I’ve been doing this pretty much my whole life. I definitely still get nervous, but I have to tell myself whatever happens, happens. I just have to give it my all.”
Cowan (37.15) was one of 10 News-Herald coverage area gymnasts who qualified in an individual event or in the all-around competition, joining fellow all-around state-qualifiers Ali Ange of West Geauga (10th, 36.00), Sophia Giancola of Gilmour (12th, 35.7) and Katie Gambino of Mayfield (15th, 35.575).
The top 17 in each of the four events, as well as the top 17 in All-Around, advanced to state, as did the top six teams.
Finishing in the top 17 in the beam were Cowan (fourth, 9.3), NDCL’s Jennie Bergles (10th, 9.125) and Giancola (17th, 8.9).
Finishing in the top 17 in the bars were Cowan (sixth, 9.125), Kenston’s Presley Gabram (13th, 8.925) and Chardon’s Chloe Budd (15th, 8.85).
Finishing in the top 17 in the floor exercise were Giancola (third, 9.4), Cowan and Mayfield’s Becca Fritz (tied for eighth with 9.3s) and Ange (12th, 9.15).
Finishing in the top 17 in the vault were Cowan (seventh, 9.425), NDCL’s Tori Soria (10th (9.3), Chardon’s Margaret Hamulak (12th, 9.275) and Giancola (15th (9.250).
No News-Herald coverage area team qualified as a unit for the state meet. Brecksville-Broadview Heights (147.55) ran away from the rest of the field, followed by fellow state qualifiers Brunswick (143.525), Hudson (141.225), Medina (140.175), Berea-Midpark (140.075) and North Royalton (140.075).