Carmel headed back to state

Making its way back to state, Carmel Catholic's girls gymnastics team is returning once again, having emerged out of one of the toughest sectionals in state competition at Stevenson High School on Wednesday night.

The Corsairs ended up in the top spot with a 145.25 and earned a spot in next week's state meet on Friday and Saturday at Palatine High School.

New Trier settled for the second spot (145.025), followed by Glenbrook South (144.65), Stevenson (138.65), Lake Forest (138.425) and Mundelein (135.525)

The Corsairs, Glenbard West (147.9) and Lincoln-Way East co-op (141.85) have secured spots with the Conant sectional remaining on Thursday. The four at-large spots so far are DeKalb co-op (146), New Trier, Glenbard East (145) and Glenbrook South.

"I have the upmost respect for what Glenbrook South is doing and I love New Trier," Carmel coach Sarah Doyle said," We knew this was going to be a mini-state meet. We came out of it with some things we need to fix. I think there was a little bit of a dip in confidence and we need to gain some back."

It really was a battle and stressful among the three schools. So much so, that it came down to the final event without any of the teams knowing how close it was.

Carmel had the slim lead at 109.925, Glenbrook South was at 108.965 and New Trier 107.325. The Corsairs finished on bars with 36.5, the Titans on beam 35.725 and the Trevians 37.7 on vault.

"I thought we did a good job to let them duke it out," Doyle added. "Our motto is just be Carmel. It's just stressful and at the same time they just kept things in perspective. They just had to fight for everything. If you can fight through a meet like this, the next one should be easier."

Isabella Kropiwiec finished in the top spot for the Corsairs in the all-around with a 37.05. She also placed third on beam (9.375), tied for fourth on vault with Glenbrook South's Sheena Graham (9.575) and tied for fourth on bars with New Trier's Avery Faulkner (9.225).

"It definitely means a lot, especially coming from this hard sectional," said Kropiwiec, after taking the top all-around spot. "There's a lot of talent from a lot of different girls. Getting my nerves together and controlling what I was doing. I wasn't thinking about what else was going on. Knowing all the hard work put in along with the team."

Lyndsey Basara earned the top honor on vault with a 9.7 by hitting her Yurchenko tuck full. She also had a second-place finish on floor (9.225).

"This meet was very stressful," Basara said. "We were trying our best. We were trying not to look at the board and just focus on our team. We've worked so hard for this and just zoned on ourselves."

Carmel's Clare Keane also ended in a first-place tie with Lake Forest's Taylor Cekay on beam (9.475) and placed second on bars tied with New Trier's Rachel Zun (9.325).

Kristin Fisch of Lake Forest was second in the all-around (36.9) and third on floor (9.2).

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