State wait is over for sectional champ Carmel
The wait is over for Carmel Catholic's girls gymnastics team.
After a three-year drought, the Corsairs will again participate as a team in the state finals next week at Palatine High School.
The Corsairs put forth a strong all-around effort, winning Tuesday's Mundelein sectional with a score of 146.275 on Tuesday night.
New Trier finished second (141.5), followed by Mundelein (141.15), Glenbrook South (139.45), Warren (134.925) and Glenbrook North (132.625).
"It has been a wait," Carmel Catholic coach Nicole Stroup said. "If you're a senior like Antonio (Durnil), it's exciting to get back there. It's an emotional day -- it's really exciting just to see the girls go out there and perform the way they did.
"It's awesome to see it under this type of pressure, at a gym last year where things didn't go so well. These girls are a special group of girls and they've overcome a lot of demons, stayed focused throughout the year."
Sammi Lococo led the way for the Corsairs by winning the all-around with 37.475. She also earned the top spots on balance beam (9.65) and floor exercise (9.4), along with second on vault (9.525).
"Beam was my best event," said Lococo, appreciative of how much better things turned out in this sectional, compared to the previous year's effort. "It was a matter of all of us falling, to all of us hitting. The whole team added into it all."
Durnil placed second on floor, Anna Osowski finished third on floor (9.30) and fifth on bars (9.25), while Kelly Gustafson finished tied for fifth on beam with New Trier's Emma Jane Rohrer (9.125).
Mundelein was in search of its first-ever team trip to state. It looks like an at-large team berth may elude the Mustangs, who won't know for sure until the final sectional scores are completed Thursday.
"I thought we had an excellent season," Mundelein coach Jamie Brongiel said. "We're still conference champs, regional champs. And we still have two girls going to state, which is more than last year."
The Mustangs' Taylor Shanahan will be making her first trip to state, along with Meagan Kehr.
Shanahan was third in all-around (36.775) and Kehr was fifth (36.625). Kehr landed on the top spot on vault with an impressive 9.6 and also placed third on beam (9.375); Shanahan finished fourth on beam (9.3).
"Honestly, I couldn't be more proud of my performance," Shanahan said. "I gave it all I had. Especially after last year, not making it, it means all that much more to make it this year. It stinks that the team can't be there with me, because they have worked very hard this year."
Stevenson's Mikaela Webb placed fourth in the all-around (36.75) and third on bars (9.3).
"I'm just excited, because I really didn't think it was possible to place," Webb said. "My bars was the best. I thought the end of it was really good, with my dismount."
Katie Graeb of Warren finished tied for third with Niles West's Jasmine Dirks and Glenbrook South's Katie Wahl on vault (9.4), while Teagon Albert landed second place on floor exercise (9.375).