Lakewood OH

Area gymnastics teams compete and have fun on the fly

By Ryan Kaczmarski



          MAGNIFICAT head gymnastics coach Joe Gura is going through something he has rarely had to deal with in his 21 years of leading the program – rebuilding.


          The Blue Streaks have qualified for the state championships in every year that Gura has been coach. His teams have won 10 state titles, placed runner-up six times, placed third four times and placed fourth once.

          There is only one girl returning from last year’s team, which placed third in the state. It is also a team featuring 11 freshmen.

          “We’re looking forward to gaining experience this year and hopefully we can go as far as we can (in the postseason),” Gura said. “We don’t have a lot of expectations to keep that record (to state championships) going, but hope to do the best we can.”

          Coach Gura is expecting big things from juniors Hayley Austria and Alysha Thompson, and freshmen Julia Corrao and Allyson Prince.

          The other girls competing on Magnificat’s squad this year are senior Brenna Gibbons; juniors Morgan Coury, Jennifer Heisser and Lauren Werling; sophomores Jessica Cherico, Maryclare Kastelic and Catherine Warren; and freshmen Kelly Adler, Brenna Brossard, Hayley Chagrin, Arianna Cucci, Victoria Hvizda, Carolyne Kelly, Christina Lockhart, Michelle MacBride and Emma Trefney.

          “We’ll be back next year – strong – with some experience,” Gura said.

          ROCKY RIVER has a team comprised of four freshmen and is coached by 1987 state champion from Magnificat, Meg Leneghan. The Pirates team works very close with the Blue Streaks team.

          “They practice as a team together and go on the busses together to the same meets,” Leneghan said. “They are a young team, but they are very enthusiastic in wanting to learn new skills.

          “I think there are a lot of benefits of the teams being together,” she added. “Not only economically, saving the costs from the equipment, but just the camaraderie the girls gain. They also get to meet girls from other schools and really build friendships.”

          The members of the Pirates team are Grace Combs, Tess McNamara, Lauren Murphy and Shiloh Snavely.

          The WESTLAKE program is still in its infancy, and is headed by second-year head coach Chelsea Cahill. Last year the program was a club sport with four members, then swelled to 12 girls by the end of the season, but still achieved high marks in sectional competition.

          The key returning girls are seniors Aleks Tyler and Hayley Hartman; juniors Emma Coleman, Katie Jenkins and Mackenzie Hurd; and sophomores Ana Solomon, Faith Mancuso, Katherine Garruto and Paige Speer.

          Newcomers expected to score for the team are sophomore twins Bethany and Brianna Sokol, and freshmen Aggie Anastasopoulos and Mara Lipschutz.

          “The goal is to establish Westlake as a main competitor in the sport of gymnastics,” Cahill said. “The addition of the Sokol twins and freshmen Aggie and Mara should help achieve that goal.”

          The other members of the Demons squad are sophomore Brooke Holmes and freshmen Kaitlyn Cook, Rita Forbush, Haley Geballa, Kristen Kuhn, Elizabeth Mancuso, Sadie Massa, Erika Nunnari, Christina Solomon, Rose Song, Dymond Sudberry, Talyssa Vallecillo and Kathryn Walsh.

          OLMSTED FALLS has a new gymnastics program this year, headed by head coach Sarah Obugene.

          The key members of the Bulldogs team are sophomores Sarah Lyzen and Destani Szabo, and freshman Breanna Palkovic. The other girls on the team are Kayla Bradford, Christine Dabate, Karissa Dodge, Taylor Geraci, Olivia Sarik, Farrah Thomay, Kendall Wertman, Rachel Wilson and Meredith Leblanc.

          “We have a wide variety of experience levels on our team, so there is lots of room for improvement,” Obugene said. “Our goals are to have girls make it to districts and strengthen our team for next year.”

Results from Thursday’s meet at Magnificat High School:


HUDSON: 126.65





MIDPARK: 92.45





Julia Corrao (Mags)8.4

Alice Hollensmith (Brunswick)8.2

Hayley Austria (Mags)8.1



Mac Miller (Hudson)9.05

Alice Hollensmith (Brunswick)8.65

McKenna Baluch (Medina)8.6

Logan Custer (Hudson)8.6



Logan Custer (Hudson)8.7

Julia Corrao (Mags)8.4

Alice Hollensmith (Brunswick)8.2

Chloe Skiner (Hudson)8.05



Julia Corrao (Mags)8.2

Hayley Austria (Mags)7.75

Mac Miller (Hudson)7.75

Alice Hollensmith (Brunswick)7.7



Mac Miller (Hudson)33.1

Julia Corrao (Mags)33.1

Alice Hollensmith (Brunswick)32.75

Logan Custer (Hudson)32.6

Results courtesy of Magnificat High School




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