Coach: Lapel gymnastics team young but strong

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

Rob Baker | For The Times-Post

INDIANAPOLIS — Lapel gymnasts began their season with a sixth-place finish at the Franklin Central Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 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 the vault with an 8.65 and eighth on the floor exercise with an 8.65.

With one meet under their belt, the Bulldogs are eager to continue the season with 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 lone junior.

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

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

“The levels are scattered, and it’s a nice mix of competition,” Carpenter.

Carpenter said the team has great talent on the balance beam and the floor exercise. The teammates are working on vaults, and while the uneven bars has not been a strong event for them, they have improved.

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

Rockwell is the newest addition to the Bulldog lineup.

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

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

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

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

Getting individuals or even the whole team to state competition is also on the Bulldog radar.

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