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updated: 11/29/2012 7:30 PM

Girls gymnastics: Scouting Lake County

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Carmel Catholic

Coach: Nicole Gluzinski (first year)

Top gymnasts lost: Anna Brandmeier, Kristin Mirski, Jen Zeller.

Top returning gymnasts: Sarah Cohen Smith (Sr.), Lauren Feely (Sr.), Kari Osowski (Sr.)

Newcomers: Isabella Schnieder (Sr.), Cassie Wilson (Jr.), Antonia Durnil (Fr.).

Outlook: Carmel's girls gymnastic team has won state the last three years but lost three talented gymnasts to graduation. Lauren Feely (Bowling Green) returns as a strong contender to become the state's all-around champion after great results the last few years. Sarah Cohen-Smith and Cari Osowski also return with state experience. One big change for the Corsairs is that long-time coach Sarah Doyle stepped to have more time with her family. "Although we graduated some very good talent last year," said new Carmel coach Nicole Gluzinski, "we still have some experienced talent and some very good talent coming in. The newcomers will look to the experience our seniors have to handle meet pressure and situations. We've got a great little team again, with some real potential. With such a small team, again our goal is to stay healthy and get the job done."

Libertyville

Coach: Tiffany Owens (first year)

Top gymnasts lost: Tori Metcalf, Lindsey Schweitzer

Top returning gymnasts: Jenna Dunsing (Sr.), Grace Boyer (Jr.), Mariah Lee (Jr.), Rachel Metcalf (Jr.)

Newcomers: Morgan Dunleavy (Jr.)

Outlook: Tiffany Owens takes over for John Taylor as head coach and has a promising team with which to work. Libertyville has Mariah Lee and Rachel Metcalf returning; both were state qualifiers last year along with senior Jenna Dunsing. "I expect us to have strong team scores at both the regionals and sectionals," Owens said. "I would like to have both returning state qualifiers make it to state and all of my varsity athletes make it to state."

Mundelein

Coach: Nancy Toland (12th year)

Top gymnasts lost: Lisa Wajswol

Top returning gymnasts: Laura Azzarello (Sr.), Katie Schall (Sr.), Kendall Smith (Sr.), Maya Nienaber (Jr.), Mackenzie Kehr, (So.), Nicole Ornoff (So.), Kelsey Toland (So.)

Newcomers: Marissa Rizzo (Fr.)

Outlook: Mundelein has its sights set on the highest of team goals: making the state meet in February. The Mustangs have already competed and earned their first win against Vernon Hills. "I'm hoping to see improvements in their skills and routines as the year progresses," coach Nancy Toland said.

Stevenson

Coach: Judy Harwood (23rd year)

Top gymnasts lost: Ali Castriano, Esther Kim. Dani Webb, Lauren Whalen, Therese Wojton

Top returning gymnasts: Rebecca Feltman-Frank (Sr.), Riley Treblico (Sr.),

Monali Mukherjee (Jr.), Alyssa Weisberg (So.),

Newcomers: Allie Brady (Sr.), Lauren Wexler (Sr.), Andie Kane (Jr.), Mikaela Webb (Fr.)

Outlook: It will be a different type of year ahead for Stevenson's girls gymnastics. The Patriots graduated a talented group led by Ali Castriano and Therese Wojton; they led the Patriots to a second-place finish at state. "It's going to be a rebuilding year," Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. "We've got a nice team of girls working a lot harder than all the other teams in the past. They do have a lot to learn. We should make progress as the year goes on and learn new tricks."

Vernon Hills

Coach: Alison Gildemeister (second year)

Top returning gymnasts: Julie Gartsman (Sr.), Katie Lea (Sr.), Alli Tran (Sr.), Izzy Patt (Jr.)

Newcomers: Hannah McGreevy (Fr.)

Outlook: Alli Tran took some leaps forward last year into state competition and will take on a leadership role for Vernon Hills, along with seniors Katie Lea and Julie Gartsman. "This year is going to be a great year for VHHS," Vernon Hills coach Alison Gildemeister said. "Under the leadership of senior Alli Tran, I expect this year to be even better than last year. We have improved so much since last year and it will be very exciting!"

Warren

Coach: Mary Hankosky (second year)

Top gymnasts lost: Alison Rossman

Top returning gymnasts: Krystal Kofeld (Sr.), Becky Stochl (Sr.), Kelsey Stoecker (Sr.), Kyra McCue (So.)

Newcomers: Marisa Perry (So.), Katie Grass (Fr.)

Outlook: Warren's girls gymnastics team has some experienced gymnasts back for another year, along with a couple of young, capable competitors. For now, the Blue Devils' challenge is coping with early season injuries. "It's nice to have a group of girls with a lot of camaraderie," Warren coach Mary Hankosky said. "We're hoping to get a couple of our injured girls back and the new girls to step up. The girls should be improving at competing with the season going on."

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