Carmel on top of its game at Galatte Invite
Carmel Catholic's girls gymnastic team entered this season with a different mindset after getting a taste of the state experience last year.
The Corsairs graduated only one senior from a team that finished sixth at state last year and they got off to fine start on Saturday at the Al Galatte Invite at Rolling Meadows.
Sophomore Kyla Rapplean took first on beam (9.05) and freshman Clare Keane took first on bars (9.55), powering the Corsairs to the title with 70.65 points.
"We're super excited," said Carmel coach Sarah Mikrut Doyle of her team's performance. "They know the feeling of making it to state and they want it again, and they even want to top what they did last year. They have a different mindset this year."
The Al Galatte Invite limited each team to two individuals for the four events and each gymnast was limited to one event.
Barrington was also impressive in taking second place with 68.80 points followed by Oak Park-River Forest (67.95), Stevenson (66.40), and Lake Zurich (65.80),
Carmel sophomore Lyndsey Basara (9.10), who tied for a fifth-place state medal on vault last season, got things rolling by taking second on the floor. Senior Audrey Legarreta (8.75) added a sixth-place finish on floor.
Rapplean then kept the momentum flowing by taking first on beam in the Corsairs' second rotation.
"This meet really brought our confidence up," added Rapplean of the Corsairs' effort. "I know we got all our jitters out."
Keane then opened a few eyes by taking first on bars (9.55) with junior Izzy Kropiwiec (9.25) tying for fourth place.
"I was very nervous," said Keane of her debut performance. "But at the end I was happy I did it for the team."
Sophomore Aideen Cazzini (beam), senior Hannah Hoffman (vault), and sophomore Baileigh Hannah (vault) added to an impressive performance from top-to-bottom for the Corsairs.
"Our team was pretty young last year," added Kropiwiec. "It was a learning process, but I think the state experience opened our eyes."
And Carmel certainly opened a few more eyes on Saturday.
Barrington also enters the season with high expectations and the Fillies did not disappoint on Saturday.
Sophomore Jade Moranetz (8.8) and junior Alana Riemenschneider (8.5) went 2-4 on the beam to give the Fillies a huge lift.
"We've improved a lot since last year," said Moranetz. " I was a bit wobbly on beam but I'm glad I stuck it."
Senior Sarah Ruesch (9.2) tied for second on vault and junior Lauren Tenbrunsel (9.2) added a sixth-place finish on bars for the Fillies.
"It's a good start, but I'm excited to see more improvement," added Tenbrunsel, who was a state qualifier her first two seasons. "In the past we haven't realized our potential, but this year we really understand we have a good chance."
Stevenson also has the look of a potential state qualifier after starting the season with an impressive 141.40 mark on Wednesday.
Junior Emily Weinstein anchored the Patriots on Saturday by tying for third on the floor (9.05).
"I think we all did really well today," said Weinstein. "We've been working really hard and it showed today."
Junior Kelsey Rothas (9.0) gave Lake Zurich a lift by taking fifth on the floor, with Carly Trebac (9.1) tying for sixth on the vault aiding the Bears' fifth-place team finish.
Kendall Nelson (9.2) tied for second on the vault, pacing Lake Park to a sixth-place team finish.
Elk Grove junior Katie Talens hit a 9.3 on the vault on Friday at the Wheeling Invite and she continued to impress on Saturday using a Pike Suk to take first on the vault with a 9.4.
"We've all been working hard and trying to improve," said Talens of her impressive start to the season. "It definitely helps boost the team score."
Schaumburg freshman Alexis Rothmeyer also has had an impressive start and she continued to impress by taking third on the bars (9.3) on Saturday.
"It helps that the team was behind me, cheering me on," said Rothmeyer. "I'm happy with it."
Rolling Meadows junior Nicole Kane earned a third place medal in bars at the state meet last season and she showed on Saturday that she is picking up where she left off.
Kane used a double back dismount in tying for fourth place on bars (9.25).
"Today I went for it and landed it," said Kane of her dismount.
Hoffman Estates freshman Elyssa Wuerffel (9.05) gave the Hawks a lift by tying for third on the floor.
"I just wanted to have fun and try my best," said Weurffel. "My coaches have been great and the team is helping me out a lot."
Also showing promise is Buffalo Grove freshman Olivia Tangorra (9.0). She took seventh on the bars. Prospect junior Marina Andric (8.15) took seventh on beam, and Rolling Meadows Ava Grifienstein (8.7) tied for seventh on floor.