By David Fong
TROY — Lizzy Deal is a talented competitor who will perform any place, any time.
Troy High School’s stellar junior gymnast does enjoy a little home cookin’ every now and then, however.
“It was really nice all my family and friends could come to a meet,” said Deal, who won a pair of events and placed third in the all-around Saturday at the Troy Invitational, which was held at Gem City Gymnastics. It was a rare home meet for the Trojans, who compete almost exclusively on the road. “It was great to have all of their support. Plus, it’s nice to be here and get to use all of your own equipment.”
Despite an off day on the bars — usually her best event — Deal turned in a stellar showing, placing third in the all-around with a 34.85, winning the beam (9.25) and floor exercise (9.2) and taking fifth in the vault (8.8).
“I thought I did OK,” said Deal, a state qualifier last year for the Trojans. “My bars were a tad rough, but my vault is getting closer. I was pleased with how I did in three events.”
Saturday’s meet also served as a preview to the district competition, which will take place in two weeks. The top two teams in each district advance to state. Last year, Versailles won the district title, while Miamisburg took second and Troy was third. All three competed Saturday at the Troy Invitational — Miamisburg won with 137.45 points, Versailles was second with 136.2 and Troy was third with 134.55 points.
“It’s good to know where we are with districts coming up in a few weeks,” Troy coach Larry McCoppin said. “What we learned from this meet is that we are really not far away from where we need to be. If everyone goes up one-tenth of a point in all of our events, we’ll be right there.”
Also for the Trojans in the all-around, Abby Baker was 11th (32.75), while Ellie Daniel was 12th (32.05).
On the floor exercise, Sarah Kraynek was sixth (8.8), Ellie Daniel placed eighth (8.75) and Carly Smith placed 1oth (8.7). Abby Otten was 12th (8.65). Kraynek also placed fourth on the vault (8.85) to lead the Trojans in that event.
On the beam, Smith placed eighth (8.45), while Navaeh Collier was 11th (8.35). No Trojans finished in the top 12 on the bars.
“This was a great meet for us,” McCoppin said. “All of the girls came out and performed well. It was a total team effort. Versailles was at full strength, Miamisburg was a full strength and we were at full strength. This should make us practice harder the next few weeks, knowing how close we are. We know we’ve got work to do and as a coach, you can’t ask for much more than that.
“It was a good meet. They were all able to bring their friends and family, which is always fun. The energy in here was pretty exciting. And we got out without any injuries, so I’m happy.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong