Girls Gymnastics: Hinsdale Central’s Cayley Brenk wins all-around
Updated: December 10, 2011 8:12PM
A fall in the balance beam cost Stevenson’s Ali Castriano a shot at winning the all-around title Saturday at the Hinsdale Central Invitational. The all-around winner, Hinsdale Central’s Cayley Brenk, couldn’t stop smiling after winning her first career title.
Brenk didn’t see Castriano’s fall, which came on a difficult back handspring layout stepout. Castriano, a senior, was the meet’s second-to-last performer on the event. She scored 8.725 to finish fourth on the beam, but Brenk earned the all-around win, 36.700-36.675, after she had already completed her events ahead of Castriano.
Brenk, a sophomore, has overcome her own fears on the beam and finished second (8.9) behind Stevenson’s Riley Trebilco (9.25), who tied for fourth in last year’s state meet.
“This feels really good, especially in this meet getting close to 140 (as a team),” Brenk said. “We’re getting close in this meet with a 139.95. I know we can all do it.”
Stevenson, last season’s fourth-place team at state, won its first major meet of the season with a 143.425 total in the eight-team meet. Castriano won the uneven bars (9.2). Brenk didn’t win an event, but teammate Erin Morgan took the floor exercise title in 9.55. Morgan placed third (36.65) in all-around. Sarah Mussalem of Sandburg-Stagg co-op won the vault (9.5).
“We’re excited about this win,” Castriano said. “It shows we’ve made a lot of improvement, but we’re also ready (to compete).”
Stevenson, which has freshmen Alyssa Weinberg and Elizabeth Shank in its lineup, finished third at Hersey’s Galatte Invitational Dec. 3.
“This group is an interesting team,” Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. “I’m not sure how good they would be at the beginning of the year. We have a couple of freshmen. They are energetic and optimistic. We’re a little better than I expected us to be.”
Castriano has been working on her beam routine and even seeks out help from Tribelco, the team’s top beam scorer. When Tribelco was younger, she had a low-level balance beam in her basement.
“I’m trying to work on my consistency,” Castriano said of the beam.
Castriano took second on floor (9.5) and fourth on vault (9.25) as Stevenson’s only all-arounder.
Brenk overcame a difficult moment to finish third on floor (9.35) when the music unexpectedly cut out after the second pass of her routine. She continued her floor routine without her music, a mix of instrumental songs by Usher given to her by Dana Poncin, a former coach.
“It’s great to know I could do it after my floor exercise music stopped,” Brenk said.
Brenk placed third on vault (9.3) with a Yurchenko pike although she is working on a Yurchenko layout. She also took second on bars (9.15).
Morgan tied for second on beam (8.9) with Brenk, took third on bars (9.10) and tied for seventh on vault (9.1).
One of Stevenson’s top finishers was Becca Feltman-Frank, who placed second on vault (9.45).