Schepner among bright spots for youthful Hampton gymnastics team
By: Devon Moore
Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 8:57 PM
The Hampton gymnastics team didn’t meet its yearly goal of making the WPIAL team championships, but there were plenty of bright spots.
Sophomore Hannah Schepner continued to grow as a WPIAL contender, finishing fifth in the WPIAL Advanced Division all-around and in the bars.
“I knew I had to bring my A-game and do all my best skills,” said Schepner, who competes year-round out of Jewart’s Gymnastics in Hampton.
“I was really happy (with the result). There was a lot of competition on the other teams. I had some friends on North Allegheny and Thomas Jefferson. They’re really good gymnasts, so I was happy to see them win by my side.”
Schepner arrived on the scene at the first meet of the season, finishing first overall against Moon and Pine-Richland, two playoff-caliber teams with solid gymnasts.
“She definitely did great this season,” Hampton coach Kinsey Basko said. “Had some mistakes in past meets but improved on her ability throughout. At WPIALs, she had a no-fall meet and performed all of her skills.”
Hampton had an opportunity to qualify more participants in individuals, but WPIAL rules and bad weather played a role in preventing that.
The team’s last meet against Fox Chapel was canceled. Unable to be rescheduled, it left some of the gymnasts without enough scores to become eligible.
“It is kind of crappy,” Basko said of the situation. “I thought they were going to make an exception because the meet was canceled because of the weather. But they decided not to.”
The Hampton gymnastics team has a short but successful history. It made playoffs the past four seasons, winning WPIAL titles in 2015 and ’16.
“It was kind of sad knowing we didn’t make the WPIAL championships because we have in many years past,” Schepner said. “But we’re determined to get back to the gym and work harder for next season.”
The Talbots should be a force again if they stick together. Four freshmen contributed: Ruby Copelin, Annaelise Craig, Taylor Fiscus and Riley Howard.
“I know most of the freshmen and the incoming freshmen, too,” Schepner said. “I think they did really well, and I was happy with that.”
All four compete with Schepner for Pittsburgh North Stars gymnastics team. Additionally, Basko expects injured junior Jenna Zabroski back next year, pending her injury status.
“It was a good first year for those newbies,” Basko said. “I think they’re way more aware of what’s going on and how the game is played. So next year should be a little bit more successful.”