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Senior gymnasts go out with a bang in last home meet of season

Junior+Grace+Ryan+performs+on+the+uneven+bars
Junior Grace Ryan performs on the uneven bars

Junior Grace Ryan performs on the uneven bars

Jacob de Waard

Jacob de Waard

Junior Grace Ryan performs on the uneven bars

Jacob de Waard, Staff Writer

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Women’s gymnastics held Senior Night on Jan. 12 at home against Naperville Central.

This meet was the last time Naperville North’s five senior female gymnasts would compete at home.

Junior Varsity 2 and Junior Varsity 1 were victorious in the meet, with point totals over Central of 89.24 to 80.0, and 101.65 to 94.5 respectively. Varsity barely lost 122.35 to 123.25. Even though there are still three weeks until IHSA regionals, this was the last home meet of the season. Five senior gymnasts, Isabelle Mandarino, Courtney Balinski, Gabriella Del Real, Emily Wilhelm and Jessica Lapnow were honored as part of the last home meet. For Isabelle Mandarino, this was an end of an era.

“I started out as a freshman, not really knowing my place. I got thrown on Varsity not knowing what I was doing,” said Mandarino. “But, as time went on I kind of learned my roles as a leader and as a gymnast as well. I developed my skills and I ended up being varsity captain and it’s just changed my life for the better.”

Coach Christian Stanicek has also seen Mandarino change in the four years he’s been coaching her.

“Her skill level has obviously gotten better but I think her greatest contribution to this team in the last four years is just her ability to inspire and incite, not just individuals goals but team goals,” said Stanicek.

With IHSA regionals starting on Feb. 3, Coach Stanicek wants to see some minor improvement to the team.

“Right now in the gym we’re just working sets. We’re doing routines and trying to get consistency,” said Stanicek. “We’re not adding anything big, we’re just tightening up what we’re already doing.”

The next women’s gymnastics meet will be on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 6:00 pm at Lake Park High School.

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Senior gymnasts go out with a bang in last home meet of season