Keane, Carmel show no fear in winning Straus Invitational
Clare Keane has a way of dealing with fear and doesn't let it get to her when she's on the uneven bars.
The Corsairs' junior has been able to handle it enough and continues chalking up some outstanding sets. She posted the top score with a 9.7 on Saturday as part of the Robin Straus Invitational hosted by Lake Forest.
"Bars has always been one of my strongest events," Keane said. "I usually don't do much in practice because I'm kind of mental about bars. I actually have fear on bars, it's mostly on my dismount. It's hard to go for it sometimes, but in the meet I know I can do it for my team. So it helps to get over that fear."
Carmel Catholic had no fear and captured the top spot with a team score of 145.8. Conant and Lake Forest tied for second (141.55), Lake Park was fourth (139.25), Geneva fifth (136.3), Warren sixth (133.35), and the St. Charles co-op eighth (129.3) out of 10 teams that competed.
The Corsairs had matched up with New Trier on Thursday and got past the Trevians 145.6 to 145.55.
"Knowing there's so much out there to get that we're leaving on the table right now," Carmel coach Sarah Mikrut Doyle said. "It's January and you know that those things are there, but we have to clean things up and be slightly more confident. Still, the way that they look, strong and (competing) with confidence."
Carmel had three gymnasts land in the top three spots in the all-around. Izzy Kropiwiec was first with a 37.55 followed by Lyndsey Basara 37.3 and Keane 36.9.
Kropiwiec earned the top spot on floor with a 9.5, second on vault (9.6), third on bars (9.45) and tied for fourth on beam with Conant's Mikaela Kaminski (9.0).
Basara placed first on vault with a 9.7, second on bars (9.5) and fifth on floor (9.15). Keane also was fourth on vault (9.3).
Freshman Olivia Kaether of Warren had one of her better vaults, landing a Yurchenko pike to score a 9.35 which was good for third place.
"I did like the way I landed it," Kaether said. "It was one of my better ones. I do like watching the vaults from other teams like Carmel and Conant. I do like picking up what they can do."
Conant's Danielle Smith had an outstanding routine on the floor that was good for second place with a 9.45.
"I do love competing on the floor, because it's always fun for me," Smith said. "I feel the most confident when I compete on floor. I did know that I had to make up for the team, because we did have a girl fall on the floor. We didn't score as high as we could've as a team. I thought my landings were pretty consistent and my double-back was high. It felt better than it usually does."
Smith also finished fourth in the all-around (36.05) and Lea Faouaz took fourth on bars (9.25)
"I was feeling good the second half of the meet. We had a pretty good vault," Conant coach Anthony Avella said. "We had a nice bars set, the girls had some wobbles on beam and bounced back nicely. I was happy the way we ended the meet and the way we competed. We'll evaluate from today and focus on the next one."
Lake Park had one of its better meets of the season and posted its best score.
"It's a season high for us and it's a little better for us," Lake Park coach Jack Luketin said. "We still have a lot more to go. I think floor was a little bit off because of maybe being a little bit under the weather. We have more to add on floor and to improve on beam."
Julia Kurek of Lake Park was able to take fifth place on the bars with a 9.25.
Geneva's Kathryn Wendt placed third on beam (9.05) behind Lake Forest's Kristen Fisch (9.3) and Taylor Cekay (9.20). Kristin Fisch was also fifth in the all-around (35.9) and placed third on floor (9.4) followed by her sister Reagan (9.35).