Lawrence High's Mallory West has been one of the top gymnasts in the state during her first year of high school competition, and coach Kathy Johnson doesn't think the freshman will be intimidated by her first Sunflower League meet.
"She's a seasoned gymnast," said Johnson, who coaches the LHS and Free State squads. "She gets psyched up and comes out to perform."
West will be one of the athletes to watch during tonight's league meet at Shawnee Mission Northwest, but she should have some competition from her own practice partners -- including Lawrence High sophomore Kara Kellison and Free State senior Sindra Schuler.
"Kara's really improving," Johnson said. "Her and Mallory are neck and neck in the bars and balance beam. It's good to have competition on the team."
The league meet at 6 tonight in Shawnee will feature some of the toughest competition the Lawrence gymnasts will face all year. Lawrence High and Free State won't face their northeast Kansas rivals when they compete in the regional Oct. 30 at Hutchinson.
"Tomorrow will not only determine the Sunflower League championship, it will give them a flavor for what the competition will be like at state," Johnson said.
The top three teams and the top six individuals in each individual event and the all-around competition at regionals will advance to the state meet Nov. 6 at Olathe East.