Commanding performance from young Carmel
Carmel Catholic's girls gymnastics team is growing up quickly.
Despite their youth, the Corsairs won their 13th regional championship in a row Wednesday night, as they posted a 142.625 at Stevenson. The host Patriots finished second with a 134.425, followed by Libertyville (128.475) and Vernon Hills (107.45).
Stevenson's Elizabeth Shank won the all-around with 37.4, while Lake Zurich had its first gymnast competing in more than a decade, and freshman Emily McGuckin acquitted herself well.
Carmel freshman Kelly Gustafson earned medals with a third on vault (9.15) and fourth on the floor (9.125). She also could qualify at-large in other events.
"I was a little shaky in warm-ups," said Gustafson, who executed a Tsuk pike on vault. "When I competed, it was a lot better. This team has really helped me out this season and supported me."
Carmel boasted three gymnasts in the top five in the all-around. Sam Lococo was second (36.975), Antonia Durnil placed fourth (35.425) and Alyssa Legerreta captured fifth (35.0).
Lococo won top honors on the floor exercise with a 9.65. She also placed second on vault (9.275), fourth on bars (8.825) and fifth on beam (9.225).
Durnil tied for second with Stevenson's Mikaela Webb on beam (9.325). Durnil was third on bars (8.925) and third on floor (9.25). Legerreta took fourth on beam (9.3), fifth on bars (8.625) and tied for fifth on vault (8.45) with McGuckin.
"We have girls that are working new skills for the meet experience," Carmel coach Nicole Stroup said. "We're hoping that they can improve for sectionals."
Stevenson produced its season-best score. The Patriots have moved into the second at-large spot, as their 134.425 nudged them ahead of Niles West (134.2), which competed Tuesday. The Patriots have to wait until the New Trier regional to see if they will advance to next Monday's Mundelein sectional.
"I thought we might have a little drop-off," said Stevenson coach Judy Hardwood, whose her team had a season-high 133 at the North Suburban Conference meet. "They did very well throughout the meet. (Elizabeth Shank) put together quite a meet. Which was very exciting."
Shank earned a season-best 9.4 on bars and the top spot on beam with a 9.5. She also was second on floor (9.5) and fourth on vault (9.0).
"I was working on a new routine on the bars," Shank said. "I haven't been able to hit it in any meets so far. It was the first time, and I actually hit the routine. It was exciting."
Webb finished third in the all-around (36.825). She had the top vault with a 9.325, was runner-up on bars (9.275) and fifth on floor (8.9).
McGuckin performed well enough to extend her season.
"I had a lot of fun," McGuckin said. "I wanted to be here to represent my school. I was kind of nervous going into it. But once it got started and I got warmed up, it really wasn't that bad. Making it through an event was better for me. It's pretty awesome."