LAPEL — As the lone gymnast for Lapel High School, junior Madi Carpenter still practices with the mindset her one-person team has a list of goals for her season.
Carpenter, who last year participated in her first high school season, is once again competing in meets on the Noblesville Millers’ schedule.
Carpenter previously competed in the club level circuit and recently completed a club meet.
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“I competed in my first club meet after being out a year, and it was a struggle but a good start to remind me how competition goes,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter is coming off a successful outing at the Western High School Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 1. She placed second in the all-around with a score of 36.05. She was also a runner-up on vault (9.125), bars (8.95), and beam (9.0). She placed fifth on floor (8.95).
She said high school competition is different from club level, and she is excited for this season because she understands more of the high school requirements.
“I hope I can make it farther in the postseason this year,” Carpenter said. “My goal is to make it to state.”
Last year, Carpenter finished 19th on the bars, 24th on the floor exercise and 25th on the balance beam in the Valparaiso Regional. Carpenter sustained an injury twisting a vault just prior to last year’s regional.
Since her grips for the bars broke, she’s been struggling while trying to break in the new one, but she’s very excited about one thing.
“The floor is my favorite event, and I have a new routine I’m super excited about,” Carpenter said. “Hopefully, I can push through this season and qualify for state.”
Madi is eligible to compete in two club gymnastics meets while the high school season is in session and has already completed those.
Madi’s mother and coach, Misty, said there are four girls who compete for her at Meks Gym in Anderson; they also attend Lapel and look to compete as a team for Lapel next season.
Misty said Noblesville welcomed Madi last season and even invited her to their banquet.
“They were great for her,” Misty said. “It was a really neat experience.”
Gymnastics has been part of Carpenter’s life since she was 18 months old.
She retired three years ago as a level 10 Junior Olympics athlete. Hours and hours of practice had taken its toll.
But last year, Madi decided to give high school gymnastics a try. Misty said she still loved the sport, but it’s hard on a body, and the high school situation has been ideal.
The high school season got underway in January.
The postseason, beginning with the Noblesville Sectional, starts Feb. 28-29. Regional competition is in Portage on March 7 with the state finals taking place in Muncie, at Ball State University’s Worthen Arena, on March 14.
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Carpenter had her first meet Jan. 18 at the Franklin Central Invitational. Her scores were:
Vault – 9.2
Bars – 7.4
Beam – 9.05
Floor – 9.4
All Around -35.05