After regional win, Carmel's beaming
Samatha Wahler competed in a couple of events for Carmel Catholic's girls gymnastics team on Monday night, and her peformance on balance beam typified her squad's success.
All five of the Corsairs excelled on their beam routines, and all shared the podium as they received their medals.
Carmel earned a score of 37.2 on its best event of the night on the way to winning the regional championship with a 145.575. Stevenson finished second at 134.075, Lake Forest was third (124.725) and Evanston fourth (119.05) in regional competion at Stevenson.
The Patriots' Mikaela Webb won the all-round championship (36.775).
Wahler has been trying to produce a beam routine that could help her team, and she found it with a 9.05, good for fifth place.
"I felt like the energy was up in every event," Wahler said. "If we had a fall it didn't matter, because we were there for each other. It was probably one of the best meets of the season. The beam was probably one of the best I've done all season. I was glad to help the team. I was able to stick everything, and I haven't been able to do that all season."
The other Corsairs beamers were Sammie Lococo (first, 9.4), followed by Antonia Durnil (9.35), Kelly Gustafson (9.275) and Anna Osowski (9.175).
It had been a couple of weeks since Carmel had a meet, and the Corsairs were eager to get the state series started.
"We've got a dream beam team, and we've got to keep that going," said Carmel Catholic coach Nicole Stroup. "Floor was also good, but there's some things we need to improve on bars and vault. The whole team is looking good right now -- they're inspired and pushing each other."
Osowski took top honors on bars (9.475) and floor (9.375), along with third in the all-around (36.6) and fifth on vault (8.575).
Durnil was runner-up in the all-around (36.75), second on floor (9.275) and vault (9.225) and fourth on bars (8.9).
Lococo was fourth in the all-around (36.3) but took third on both floor (9.175) and bars (8.975). She also was fourth on vault (8.75).
Gustafson placed fifth in the all-around (34.55), third on vault (9.025) and fifth on floor (9), and Emilia Puszynski placed fifth on bars (8.625).
Webb earned her top all-around finish by landing the top spot on vault (9.325) and taking second on bars (9.30) and fourth on floor (9.125).
"It's a totally huge surprise to win the all-around and I didn't expect it at all," said Webb, who went four-for-four on her routines, something she'd only accomplished once this season. "I thought I did my best and I still have a lot to work on. I took another step for sectionals and state. It's all a process."
Webb had an especially good set on bars.
"It's my best event, but it's hard to control," Webb said.
There are still regionals to be contested over the next three days, at New Trier, Glenbrook North and at Mundelein.
The winning team from each regional automatically advances to the Mundelein sectional on Feb. 9, and two at-large teams will also advance. The top five individuals in each event and the all-around earn automatic sectional berths, while an addition 12 at-large spots in the individual events and the all-around will also compete at next week's sectional.