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updated: 11/29/2012 3:35 PM

Girls gymnastics: Scouting Northwest

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  • Prospect's Gianna Scala, here performing her fifth-place floor exercise routine in the state finals last season, returns for a Knights team with plenty of promise.

      Prospect's Gianna Scala, here performing her fifth-place floor exercise routine in the state finals last season, returns for a Knights team with plenty of promise.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent


Buffalo Grove

Coach: Stephanie Schrader

Key losses: Katie Strack

Varsity gymnasts: Diandra Duenser (fr.), Jordan Mann (sr.), Erika Ray (jr.), Sarah Cottone (fr.), Niki Salzman (sr.), Mel Idzik (sr.)

Outlook: The Bison finished seven th in the MSL last season, and Mann and Ray are back to lead BG's attack this season. Duenser and Cottone are two freshman that will be looking to contribute quickly.

Elk Grove

Coach: Heather DeCook

Key losses: Natalie Przybylski, Kat Baldovin, Ioana Manahilova.

Varsity gymnasts: Amelia Rafferty (jr.), Katie Oswald (fr.), Anna Bonder (fr.), Mia Loxley (fr.), Sylvia Wolicki (sr.)

Outlook: Rafferty is one to watch. The Grenadiers junior was a state qualifier on the floor as a freshman and is looking to return to the state meet this season. Rafferty has definitely become a threat in the all-around finishing fourth in the MSL last season. Elk Grove will also lean on a trio of talented freshman.


Coach: Ben Anderson

Varsity gymnasts: Anne Johnson, Rachael Duda, Gina Fasola, Kelly Haines, Grace Mironas, Andrea Banda, Allison Blevins

Outlook: Johnson looks to lead an improving Huskies attack. Hersey will miss the contributions of junior Hannah Bovino, who elected not to come out, but Anderson is confident his young squad will grow throughout the season.


Coach: Randy Smith

Key losses: Lauren Johnson.

Varsity gymnasts: Meggie Kania (sr.), Gianna Scala (jr.), Jackie Difonzo (jr.), Maddie Larock (soph.), Maddie Boldt (soph.), Candice Melendez (fr.), Olivia Sullo (fr.)

Outlook: Prospect had a record-breaking performance last season, finishing with a school record 145.05 at the Lake Park sectional. Yet the Knights were denied a bid to the state meet by .225 points. Prospect is hoping to have the same type of performance this season, but will be without senior captain Meggie Kania, who is out for the season with an ACL injury. The Knights do have Scala, who tied for a fifth-place medal on floor exercise at the state meet last season and also finished second in the MSL in the all-around. She has emerged as one of the top gymnasts in the state. Difonzo, Larock, and Boldt also contributed to a Knights attack that finished second in the MSL last season.

Rolling Meadows

Coach: Michael Costa

Key losses: Lauren Cerza

Varsity gymnasts: Kelly Johnson (fr.), Rachel Andersen (jr.), Shivani Patel (jr.), Sarah Bohacs (sr.), Olivia Skwerski (fr.), Colleen Peterson (fr.)

Outlook: Anderson leads the young Mustang squad that will depend on an infusion of youth, including Johnson.


Coach: Nicole Maila

Varsity gymnasts: Hannah Bradford (fr.), Katherine Kowalski (fr.), Annah Meintzer (jr.), Alyssa Pink (sr.), Lexy Scanlon (soph.), Anne Janulis (jr.)

Outlook: Maila will depend on veterans Meintzer, Pink, and Janulis to lead the attack.



Coach: Jason Loeffler

Key losses: Tiffany Persels, Marissa Kryzsko

Varsity gymnasts: Brook Morgan (jr.), Jada Jones (soph.), Jessica Lee (soph.), Molly Blanke (fr.), Abby Hasanov (fr.), Tara Schumann (soph.), Amanda Morgan (fr.)

Outlook: The Fillies are young but talented and are looking to contend for the MSL title. Barrington will miss Persels, who qualified for state on the floor, but look for Lee to emerge this season. Last year she finished fifth in the all-around at the MSL meet.


Coach: Lorel Cunningham

Key losses: Bri Bibel (not participating this year).

Varsity gymnasts: Meicie Bennett (jr.), Ali Kelly (fr.), Gina Massa (soph.), Bridget Shanahan (soph.), Sarah Starzynski (sr.), Rachel Tong (jr.), Sarah Zorilla (fr.)

Outlook: The Cougars will miss Bibel, who was a state qualifier in the all-around, vault, and beam. But Starzynski, Bennett, Tong all had solid seasons last year and will be looking to keep improving this season. Kelly and Zorilla will also be looking to contribute to a Cougars group that finished fifth in the MSL last season.


Coach: Elise Ference

Key losses: Stephanie Uhrich, Elizabeth Uhrich

Varsity gymnasts: Anna Johnson (sr.), Shannon Lemajeur (sr.), Mary Smaga (sr.), Stephanie Gallo (sr.), Emily Pinderski (sr.), Christine Jensen (jr.), Sydney Plichta (soph.), Emily Neal (soph.), Christine Radochonski (soph.), Lisa Radochonski (fr.)

Outlook: The defending MSL champions are looking to defend their title, and the Vikings have plenty of talent with which to try. Johnson, Lemajeur, Smaga, Gallo, and Pinderski will offer plenty of experience. Plichta tied for third on the bars at the state meet last season, and will be threat for the Vikings this season. Jensen, Christine Radochonski, and Neal also contributed to a deep Vikings team that finished fourth at the state meet. The Viking will be in the hunt once again for a state trophy this season.

Hoffman Estates

Coach: Natalie Tindle

Varsity gymnasts: Jasminka Sabic (soph.), Jenny Gonzalez (jr.), Jill Steinmiller (sr.), Cheri Wilson (sr.), Vanessa Moran (soph.), Alyssa Kathe (soph.)

Outlook: The Hawks will look to continue to improve this season, with a young team that has plenty of promise.


Coach: Terry Theobald

Key losses: Allissa Judson

Varsity gymnasts: Abby Alden (sr.), Megan Hedstrom (sr.), Nicole Kuksuk (sr.), Claudia Przystal (soph.), Morgan Anderson (soph.), Andrea Ori (soph.)

Outlook: The Pirates return a veteran squad that placed third in the MSL last season. Alden and Kuksuk are returning state qualifiers and will lead the Pirates attack. Last year the Pirates finished strong and will be among the top teams in the MSL this season.


Coach: Jami Stilling

Key losses: Kristen Peterson

Varsity gymnasts: Kat Young (jr.), Ashley Chimis (jr.), Alyssa Vogt (jr), Samantha Panther (soph.), Tarah Schomer (soph.), Caiti Poland (fr.), Alyssa Kiska (fr.), Erin Barrett (sr.)

Outlook: The Saxons took a big hit with losing Barrett for the season to a torn ACL. The senior was looking to lead the Saxons attack before the injury. Both Panther and Schomer made big contributions as freshmen and will be looking to continue their progress this season.


Maine West

Coach: Amanda Harrison

Key losses: Michelle Madalinski

Varsity gymnasts: Zoe Levonyak (sr.), Kayla Rizos (sr.), Jessie Frank (sr.), Alexis Monical (sr.), Nikki Bonilla (soph.), Dakota Kawalek (soph.), Marissa Gradei (fr.)

Outlook: Frank returns to lead the Warriors that will be featuring a number of new gymnast. Gradei could be a difference-maker this year. Maine West will look for improvement throughout the season.



Coach: Jennifer Thomas

Varsity gymnasts: Hannah Brewer, Kristy Dolan, Anna Kawka, Kaylnn Mullins, Melissa Pasterz, Angelica Rejczak, Kara Urbaniak.

Outlook: Thomas begins her first season with the Eagles and will look for Urbaniak, Dolan, Pasterz, and Mullins to help guide the attack.

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