Carmel chasing Prairie Ridge
Warren's Becky Stochl on the uneven parrallel bars during the Lake Forest Invitational gymnastics meet on Saturday, January 5, 2012, in Lake Forest, IL. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:03PM
LAKE FOREST — For the last three years, the girls gymnastics state series has ended with Carmel being awarded the state championship team trophy.
But based on Saturday’s performances at the 11-team Lake Forest Invitational, the Prairie Ridge Wolves appear poised to end Carmel’s run.
Paced by a one-two finish in the all-around by sophomores Riley Mahoney (38.35) and Rachel Underwood (37.975), the Wolves won with a 150.0 team score. Prairie Ridge, which finished third as a team at state last year, edged Lyons (149.675) in the team scoring at the prestigious meet Saturday.
Carmel finished third with 145.625, and its two all-around performers — Sarah Cohen-Smith (37.625) and Lauren Feely (37.27) — finished fifth and sixth. Feely won the vault with 9.85 effort.
“We’re not too disappointed, but we know there’s plenty of room for improvement,” Cohen-Smith said. “There are some things we’re going to have to go back and work on in practice.”
Cohen-Smith’s best events were vault (9.8) and beam (9.3), finishing second on both. She was fourth on floor (9.725).
“We’re tiny but mighty,” Carmel coach Nicole Gluzinski said.
Gluzinski has just five girls competing right now on the varsity level.
“We return three varsity seniors from last year. We brought up a gymnast from JV (Isabella Schneider) who has been a pretty solid leadout for us,” Gluzinski said. “Freshman Antonia Dumill had a really good competition today (17th in the all-around with an 8.7375 average). She has been working through some of the mental things. Hopefully, this was a breakthrough for her.
“We lost junior Cassie Wilson to an ACL injury about five weeks into the season. ... She was going to be a fourth or fifth scorer for us. So, we’ve battled going through that as a team. We’ve battled being a small team to begin with.”
Gluzinski is in her first year at the helm. She was a Corsairs assistant for the past seven years who swapped coaching spots this winter with Sarah Mikrut-Doyle. Due to family commitments (four children, including identical twins who are 20 months old), Mikrut-Doyle opted to help Carmel as an assistant coach this winter.
“I’m proud of Nicole. She’s a former gymnast of mine,” Mikrut-Doyle said. “I’m glad she’s gotten this opportunity. I obviously never thought I would step down, but life changes.
“I miss the everyday fun of it, listening to the stories, but I feel privileged to still be a part of it. A lot of new coaches don’t want the old coach around, but she’s been very gracious.”
The only non-Carmel area girl who finished in the top five in an event was Lake Forest’s Kat McKeon, who was third on beam (9.2).
The meet served as a “Think Pink” event for the third year in a row. Participants were asked to wear pink and money raised will go to the American Cancer Society.
The next big meet for the area teams is the Lake County Invitational on Jan. 12 at Mundelein.
Lake Forest Invitational
1. Prairie Ridge 150.0; 2. Lyons 149.675; 3. Carmel 145.625; 4. St. Charles North 142.1; 5. Conant 139.0; 6. Lake Park 135.7; 7. Warren 132.7; 8. Vernon Hills 132.0; 9. Deerfield 131.625; 10. Lake Forest 131.175; 11. Niles North 117.95.
1. Lauren Feely, Carmel, 9.85; 2. Sarah Cohen-Smith, Carmel, 9.8; 3. Rachel Underwood, Prairie Ridge, 9.7; 4. Riley Mahoney, Prairie Ridge, 9.6; 5. Kelsy Kurfirst, Lyons, 9.6.
1. Michelle Cozza, Lyons, 9.7; 2. Underwood, Prairie Ridge, 9.65; 3., tie, Mahoney, Prairie Ridge, and Kurfirst, Lyons, 9.6; 5. Maddie Solka, Prairie Ridge, 9.45.
1. Mahoney, Prairie Ridge, 9.45; 2. Cohen-Smith, Carmel, 9.3; 3. Kat McKeon, Lake Forest, 9.2; 4. Kelly Ryser, Lyons, 9.175; 5. Savana Meshing, Prairie Ridge, 9.15.
1. Kurfirst, Lyons, 9.85; 2. Cozza, Lyons, 9.775; 3. Underwood, Prairie Ridge, 9.75; 4. Cohen-Smith, Carmel, 9.725; 5. Mahoney, Prairie Ridge, 9.65.
1. Mahoney, Prairie Ridge, 38.35; 2. Underwood, Prairie Ridge, 37.975; 3. Kurfirst, Lyons, 37.95; 4. Cozza, Lyons, 37.775; 5. Cohen-Smith, Carmel, 37.625; 6. Feely, Carmel, 37.27.