Girls gymnastics: Hamann continues to excel for Warren

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/11/2021 3:58 PM

Amanda Hamann hasn't skipped a beat.

The junior gymnast, who transferred from Carmel to Warren over the summer, posted her career-best score for the Blue Devils in winning the all-around at Saturday's Conant Varsity Invite.


Hamann's mark of 37.50 gave her the title, with Olivia Herrera from Lincoln-Way Co-op finishing second.

Hamann said that she's having no problem acclimating to her new school.

"It's a great environment for me, and I just love it there," she said. "I'm just so excited to be out here competing with my team."

She added that keeping a calm demeanor is the key to her performance.

"I've learned that when I get to meets I just need to push away the nerves, be confident in myself, believe in myself, know that I'll be OK and whatever happens is for the best," Hamann said.

Hamann won the floor exercise (9.50) and the balance beam (9.20), while Prospect's Emily Gianfresesco was first in the vault at 9.70.

"I've been working super hard on improving my skills on the vault," said Gianfresesco, a sophomore. "(Actually) our entire team has been working so hard, trying to get our scores up and pull through at these meets. It's just been exciting.

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"Last year was so hard with COVID. We didn't have any invites, so it's so much fun being out here, meeting and competing with all the different girls from the different schools."

Lake Zurich, with a score of 138.50, finished second in the team race. The Bears were just edged out by Lincoln-Way Co-op, which won with a 140.35.

LZ coach Chelsie Grotelueschen said that due to an injury to one of her gymnasts in warmups, she had to shuffle her lineup at the invitational, and came away very impressed with the showing of her team.

"We had to switch some things around," said Grotelueschen, "and our girls really stepped up. Emily Hills ended up competing on bars. She hadn't competed on bars yet for us, and she did a great job.

"And our captain, Rayna Kauffman, stepped up and was an awesome leader for our team today, with her attitude and her gymnastic skills."

Kauffman took third in the all-around (36.55) and was runner-up in the floor exercise (9.40); Gianfresesco was third in the floor with a 9.25; while Hamann added to her overall win with third-place finishes in the vault and the uneven bars.


Warren and Carmel (scores of 138.025) tied for third place. The Corsairs' Nina Kropiwiec was second in the uneven bars with a 9.30.

Other individual scores of note came from Warren's Hailey Krueger, fourth in the vault at 9.45, and Lily Bruschuk of Carmel, who's vault mark of 9.375 gave her fifth place.

Lexi Belyaev of the Corsairs took fifth in the floor exercise with a 9.15, while Elyssa Wuerffel of Hoffman Estates was fourth in the all-around, posting a 35.90.

Wuerffel, who has recovered from a back injury sustained last season to excel this year, says that floor exercise is her best event.

"I get to show off my dance and do all my tumbling," said the senior, " and I'm still working on upgrading my skills."

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