Coach: Lapel’s gymnastics team is young but strong

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Elizabeth Stern of Lapel competes on balance beam during the Portage Regional Gymnastics competition at Portage High School on March 6, 2021.

Rob Baker | For the Times Post

INDIANAPOLIS — The backhand gymnasts started their season with a sixth-place finish at the Franklin Central Invitational on Saturday, January 15.

The Bulldogs scored 93.8 finishing ahead of Morristown and Fishers.

Myleigh Carpenter earned top honors for the Bulldogs as she placed fifth on vault with an 8.65 score and eighth on floor with an 8.65 score.

With one game under their belt, the Bulldogs are looking forward to continuing the season with the youth on their side and opportunities to improve their skills.

Coach Misty Carpenter has four sophomores and one junior competing this season.

Myleigh Carpenter, Elizabeth Stern, Isabelle Sparks and Lauren Paska are sophomores, while Kaitlyn Rockwell is the only junior.

“We have a very young team. We’re also very athletic and very strong,” said Coach Carpenter.

Three of the girls are club gymnasts, which works a little differently than competing at the high school level. In club, gymnasts compete at the levels at which they train, while in high school, it’s all together.

“The levels are spread out, and it’s a good mix of competition,” Carpenter.

Carpenter said the team has a lot of talent on balance beam and floor exercise. The teammates are working on the jumps, and although the uneven bars was not a strong test for them, they have improved.

“Our routines are very clean but don’t quite have the skill high,” Carpenter said.

Rockwell is the newest addition to the Bulldog line.

Carpenter said Rockwell competed in club gymnastics when she was younger, but walked away from the sport. Rockwell later came to her and told her she wanted to compete again.

“I feel the gymnastics is in you,” Carpenter said. She said many of the great skills are learned between the ages of 10 and 16, and Rockwell is getting back into the rhythm of the sport well.

“I think we’ll have a good season,” Carpenter said.

The Bulldogs are working to make a team appearance beyond the section.

Bringing individuals or even the entire team to state competition is also on the Bulldog radar.

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