Weekly Feature



2018-10-10 / Sports

Gymnasts show competitiveness in early meets

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter

Clarence’s girls gymnastics team hasn’t always come out on top during its first four meets of the season, but that doesn’t mean the Lady Red Devils would call their efforts to date anything other than successful.

Far from it, actually.

The Lady Red Devils swept their most recent meet, a league tri-meet with Frontier and Hamburg on Thursday, to improve to 3-1 against divisional opponents. First-year coach Lisa Miller noted that her gymnasts “were able to hit their routines” Thursday which, given that it was an away meet, wasn’t a sure thing.

Clarence, which scored 160.20 points to Frontier’s 159.80 and Hamburg’s 158.40, enjoyed the most success that afternoon during the floor exercise. That’s where Elaina Lorenz posted a 9.2 and Brianna Blaszak a 9.1 to guide the Lady Red Devils’ efforts.

“Being an away meet, some of the girls weren’t as comfortable with the equipment,” Miller said. “So, getting them out there and seeing them do all their skills and hit their routines was great. The girls are all working hard and have met our expectations as to what needs to be done. A lot of the girls with the bigger skills are always willing to help out the younger girls, and being able to trust someone who sees them gymnast to gymnast is huge for those younger girls.”

The Lady Red Devils came into Thursday’s meet having lost to Kenmore (147.45) and Lancaster (167.80) in non-league action after scoring 142.85 points two days earlier. Despite the team finish, Miller was pleased to see her girls performing their skills and routines with more confidence, which in turn allowed some of them to attempt — and complete — different elements in their routines.

Abbey Castiglione led the charge for Clarence with her 8.7 on floor.

“It was good to see the girls take the chances that they did with their routines,” Miller said.

The Lady Red Devils (136.75) also took third during a non-league meet with Orchard Park (155.65) and Hamburg (156.90) on Sept. 27. Everyone who was medically cleared to compete — including Shaelynn Meyer and sisters Neyla and Noelle Giannone, who had never competed in a meet before — got in at some point during the meet.

“Everyone was able to see actual competition time during the non-leaguer with Orchard Park and Hamburg, which was great — especially for those girls who had never competed before,” Miller said. “It was cool to get them some time and experience in a meet setting.”

The Lady Red Devils began the Miller coaching era on Sept. 25 by placing second in a league tri-meet with Frontier and Orchard Park. Miller went into the meet trying to get a better handle as to who her best girls were in each event, with Mya Wozniak, Gabrielle Prey, Lorenz and Blaszak all competing in the all-around portion of the meet. Lorenz wound up recording a 9.0 on beam, while Blaszak posted an 8.55 on bars.

“I thought we did very well for it being our first meet of the season,” Miller said. “With so many of the girls at the same level, I tried to use the meet as a way to figure out who could get the highest scores, and where. I think the girls pretty much met the expectations that we had going into the meet.”

Clarence returned to action Tuesday with a non-league meet against Sweet Home, but information about that contest was not available at press time. The Lady Red Devils close out their week with today’s Senior Meet against Maryvale and Williamsville East, and then resume action Monday by traveling to Maryvale for a tri-meet that includes Orchard Park.

“I just want to give our girls the ability to get their confidence up, and a non-league meet against Sweet Home, like what we have Tuesday, is great in that regard,” Miller said. “And the Senior Meet, that’s more of a fun day for them; they can pick to do whatever event that they want.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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