By Ryan Kaczmarski
Last Wednesday night was senior night for the Magnificat gymnastics team as it hosted Avon, Olmsted Falls and Eastlake North high schools. All of the seniors of each team were honored before the meet started, including Brenna Gibbons and Calli Majoy of the Magnificat Blue Streaks.
The Avon Eagles team came out on top with 125.5 points, followed by Magnificat with 118.85 points, the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs with 98.8 points and Eastlake North with 81 points.
This was the second to last meet before the state sectional tournament, and each team used the event to start fine-tuning their routines in anticipation of the postseason.
“We’re doing better (than expected), and we are still in a rebuilding stage,” Magnificat head coach Joe Gura said. “We scored last week (at the Brecksville Invitational Rock & Roll meet) just enough to where we might qualify for the state meet.
“Again, a rebuilding year where we qualify for the state meet isn’t really a rebuilding year, but I still consider it one.”
The Blue Streaks typically have state championship hopefuls on the team each and every year; but this year, just qualifying is the goal.
“We’re hoping that Julia Corrao gets to the states and gets a lot of experience there, so she get back at it next year,” Gura said. “Our goal was to get out of sectionals and qualify for districts, but now we’ve changed our goal to win sectionals and maybe move on after districts.”
The Bulldogs have a young team that has endured some injuries throughout this season.
“We did not have as many girls (on the team) as expected (this year),” Olmsted Falls first-year head coach Sarah Obugene said. “Right now we’re really just trying to get our skills up to where they need to be for next season.
“We do have a couple of girls that maybe have a chance to maybe advance past sectionals, but other than that we’re just focusing on next season,” she added.
The three Bulldogs girls who have a chance to make some noise in the postseason are Kendall Wertman, Sarah Lyzen and Destani Szabo.
Coach Obugene is expecting the team to grow in numbers starting next season.
“We have some incoming freshmen and some girls that were out early this season from injuries that will be back next year,” she said.
She also reflected on the experience of her first year as a head coach in the high school ranks.
“So far it has been good,” she said. “It’s been a little stressful. I came in a little late in the game, but other than that it has been a fun experience with all of the girls.”
The Rocky River team was not in attendance on Wednesday, but its head coach, Meg Leneghan – a Magnificat assistant coach – was on hand to give a team update.
“They’re doing really good,” she said. “They’re coming together as a team, and each week they are getting better and better at their skills. We’re looking forward to sectionals.”
The sectional tournament starts Feb. 11, followed by districts on Feb. 25 and the state championships on March 2 (team) and March 3 (individual).
JAN. 25, 2012
AVON – 125.5
MAGNIFICAT – 118.85
OLMSTED FALLS – 98.8
EASTLAKE NORTH – 81.0
Whitney Stoops (Avon) 9.2
Julia Carrao (Magnificat) 8.5
Alysha Thompson (Magnificat) 8.1
Alysha Thompson (Magnificat) 8.45
Julia Carrao (Magnificat) 8.3
Whitney Stoops (Avon) 8.2
Whitney Stoops (Avon) 9.1
Julia Corrao (Magnificat) 8.9
Annie Puzak (Avon) 8.3
Allie Prince (Magnificat) 8.3
Julia Corrao (Magnificat) 9.0
Madison Cooper (Avon) 8.6
Erica Strand (Eastlake North) 8.55
Julia Corrao (Magnificat) 34.7
Madison Cooper (Avon) 32.5
Annie Puzak (Avon) 31.35