Maine South wins invitational at less than full strength
Maine South's Nicole Nieder on the vault at the Brinkworth/Munch Girls Gymnastics Invitational at Evanston Township H.S. on January 5, 2012. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2013 5:18PM
EVANSTON — Despite having already defeated the six other CSL squads at the eight-team Evanston Invitational at various points this season, Maine South girls gymnastics coach Tessa Robinson’s squad entered Saturday’s meet with a twinge of uncertainty because of injuries and an absence.
Sophomore Lauryn Rotonda (elbow) and senior standout Haleigh Sir (hyper-extended knee) were limited to one and two events, respectively. Freshman Katelyn Streit missed the invite because of a family vacation.
“It wasn’t a lock,” Robinson said after the meet, which the Hawks won 130.775-123.450 over second-place Glenbrook South. “It wasn’t like I thought, or they thought, ‘Oh, we’re for sure going to win.’ They knew that they had to hit their routines in order to take first today.”
Although Sir and Rotonda were both limited by injuries, they made their events count.
Sir took first place on uneven bars (8.700) and balance beam (8.700), and Rotonda edged Evanston’s Andrea Glaser 8.800-8.750 to take first place on floor exercise.
Maine South’s victories in three individual events, along with freshman Carly Berns’ and senior Nicole Allegretti’s respective fourth- and sixth-place finishes in the all-around, allowed the Hawks to distance themselves from the competition.
For Allegretti, competing in the all-around provided a rare opportunity for the senior to dust off her floor exercise routine.
“I have not done floor since sophomore year, pretty much,” said Allegretti, who finished 12th (7.950) in the event. “From time to time (I practice it), but I do think it’s harder to be familiar with my routine since I don’t compete in it all the time. When I do practice it, the stakes aren’t as high.”
Glenbrook South finished second in the meet behind its two all-arounders. Sophomore Kaci Castino eclipsed eight points in all four events to finish fifth in the all-around (32.700). Junior Samantha Kopley used an 8.650 on the vault — which was good for second place — to finish seventh in the all-around (31.700).
Maine West freshman Marissa Gradei (33.550) edged Niles West sophomore Catherine Steegmueller (33.050) to win the all-around title.
Steegmueller, who took first place in the vault (9.000), led the Wolves to a third-place finish (119.550) over fourth-place Evanston (116.825). Evanston’s Glaser, a freshman, was third in the all-around with 32.900 points.
Highland Park was sixth (106.575), and Maine East was eighth (100.700). Glenbard South, the only school not in the CSL that competed at the invite, took seventh (102.600).
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper Thursday to read more about the Maine South and Maine East girls gymnastics teams.