Girls Varsity Gymnastics
Columbus East's Reagan Mount, left, and Taylen Lane keep score during a gymnastics meet between Columbus East and Franklin Central at Columbus East High School in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday Jan. 19, 2021. Mount broke her foot during a meet against Columbus North in early January and just recently returned to action. Lane missed the entire regular season due to concussion like symptoms. Both gymnasts are expected to be healthy enough to compete in the sectional. Mike Wolanin | The Republic
Taylen Lane had high hopes for her senior gymnastics season at Columbus East.
But those hopes took a drastic turn in late December when she injured her head and neck in practice. Performing a straddle-back on the bars, her hands slipped and she hit head on the bottom bar and fell on the ground.
Because of the concussion-like symptoms, Lane missed the entire regular season. She plans to return for Friday’s East Sectional.
“We’ve been going pretty slow just so I don’t get hurt again,” Lane said. “But I feel like I’m getting a lot closer to where I was. I’m really excited, especially with this being my senior year.”
Meanwhile, another top returning Olympian gymnast, junior Reagan Mount, also missed most of the regular season with an injury. She broke her foot while performing her floor routine in the season opener at Columbus North.
Mount returned in a limited capacity the past two meets and hopes to be able to do more on Friday.
“I tried to finish (the floor routine at North), and I stood up,” Mount said. “But I heard it crack when it happened. So I immediately went back down. It was hard, especially because beam is my favorite, and it’s normally my best. So I was really looking forward to doing it, especially at North.”
East has struggled this season without Lane and Mount in the lineup. The Olympians didn’t crack the 100-point mark until Monday’s win against Owen Valley in the regular-season finale.
Mount, who returned on the bars only in a Feb. 9 meet at Bloomington South, did the bars and beam against Owen Valley on Monday. She won the bars for the second consecutive meet, but fell on the beam and did not place in that event.
“I’m a little disappointed I fell, but I’m just glad to be back,” Mount said. “It’s a little less stressful not doing all the events, and it just feels good to be back competing again. I wanted to be able to compete at least once before sectional, just to get the nerves out.”
Lane, a state qualifier in two events last season, was cleared to practice on Friday, and practiced Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Now that she has the required number of practices under her belt, she can compete on Friday.
“It’s been pretty tough,” East co-coach Melissa Dishinger said. “She was one of the top scorers, so to not have that score to fall back on, the other girls have done a nice job of stepping up to try to make up some of those scores.”
Lane had been going to physical therapy and had been stretching, riding an exercise bike and doing vestibular therapy to help her eyes focus while she waited to be cleared to resume gymnastics activity.
“It’s been really hard, especially since I haven’t been able to do any skills, only stretching,” Lane said. “So especially now coming back into it, it’s tough getting all my skills back. I’m hoping I can get back to all my original tumbling passes (on the floor) and on beam. I’m not really sure on bars right now since my strength isn’t where it was before.”
Lane is hoping to be able to compete on the bars, beam and floor on Friday. Dishinger and co-coach Katie Menefee said they have not yet set the Olympians lineup for sectional.
“We’re slowly working our way in with Taylen because it’s a concussion,” Dishinger said. “She’s trying her best. We’re trying to get back in and see what we can do for Friday.”
Mount also is hoping to do the bars, beam and floor, but isn’t sure about the vault. But she is happy to be back in action.
“It was pretty hard, just knowing it was unsure when I would be able to come back,” Mount said. “But I’m just glad I still have my senior year to be able to do everything again.”
And her coaches are happy that they’ll be as close to full strength as they’ve been all season when they lineup on Friday night.
“For being out as long as they have been, they’re doing great getting back into it,” Menefee said.