Columbus East's Elise LaSell competes on the vault during a gymnastics meet between Columbus East and Franklin Central at Columbus East High School in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Mike Wolanin | The Republic
Elise LaSell’s 18th birthday went a little better than her 16th.
Two years ago, on her 16th birthday, LaSell finished third in the all-around competition in a gymnastics meet against Bloomington North. Tuesday night, LaSell celebrated her 18th with a victory in the all-around to lead Columbus East to a 98.45-92.2 win against Franklin Central.
1 of 11
“We’re down about four varsity people, so we knew coming in that we were going to have to pick up the slack,” LaSell said. “I’m really glad that we all stepped up, and I’m also glad that on my 18th birthday, I was able to win the all-around.”
LaSell scored a 34.3 in the all-around. She won the beam (8.6) and floor (9.0) and finished second on the bars (8.2) and third on the vault (8.5).
“Today on floor, I did a new tumbling pass for the first time, so I’m really glad that I was able to do that,” LaSell said. “In four years, it’s the first time that I’ve done it.”
Cami Warren tied for second in the all-around with a 32.5. She finished second on the vault (8.55) and floor (8.55) and third on the bars (7.75) and beam (7.65). Makyna Mullins, who is competing only on the bars this year because of an injury, won that event with an 8.45.
“We weren’t very sharp tonight,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “Some things that we’re falling on are not new. But we’ll keep working towards the goal of getting everybody healthy and getting everybody back doing what we’re supposed to do.”
The Olympians were missing three of their top five gymnasts. State qualifier Taylen Lane is coming back from a concussion, Reagan Mount sprained an ankle in last week’s season opener at Columbus North and Shelby Kendrick just got back from quarantine.
East scored a 25.15 on the vault, 24.4 on the bars, 23.2 on the beam and 25.7 on the floor.
“We did not vault well tonight at all,” Kirshman said. “Reagan is a very good vaulter, and we lost her, and then Shelby is a nice freshman, and she just hasn’t had a chance to get in there and compete yet, but she’s going to help us there. It’s unfortunate, but you have to deal with what you have.”