goleader.com - Union County, NJ Newspapers 97sep11

Westfield NJ High School
Devil Gymnasts Have Many Titles to Defend

By DAVID B. CORBIN Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

The 1997 Westfield High School girls Gymnastic team has some big slippers to fill; fortunately, it should be a pretty even fit, since every girl will be returning with the exception of Susan Pastir who graduated.

Last year, the Blue Devils finished with a formidable 11-4 record, took first place in the Bulldog Tournament sponsored by Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, grabbed first in the Union County Tournament for the third straight year and captured first in the North 2 Sectionals while establishing a new school record team total score of 105.65. Throughout the season, the Blue Devils established new team and individual records.

Senior Diana Shineman, who placed very well in the Union County Tournament and in the North 2 Sectionals last year, has been selected as the Team Captain.

Seniors Kristen Mack and Megan Clarke who have performed well in the past will be strong influences. Mack placed fifth on the balance beam and seventh in the vault at the Union County Tournament and was selected Second Team All-Union County in the floor exercises, the beam and in the vault. Clarke, of comparable ability, sat out the majority of last season due to a back injury, but appears to be ready for action this season.

Blue Devil Gymnastics Head Coach Ellen Kovac stated, "Diana (Shineman), Kristen (Mack) and Megan (Clarke) are looking very strong this year and have a great attitude".

Junior Laurie Hogan will be expected to perform the marvelous maneuvers which earned her a third-place finish in the all-around in the Union County Tournament. Hogan along with junior teammate Julie Elmuccio, who placed first in the all around in the Union County Tournament, were two of the finest gymnasts in the state last year.

Elmuccio added new chapters to the Westfield High School gymnastics record book and Hogan was just fractions of a point away from her in several categories. Elmuccio who presently is recuperating from an injury may miss a portion of the season.

Adding additional punch will be juniors Allison Checchio, who became an alternate competitor for the Blue Devils at the State Championships, Sarah Nackson, Amy Seligman and Jamie DiDonato. Sophomore Tara Clarke, who placed eighth on the uneven bars in the All Union County listing, Katy Brunetto, Jenna Ellsworth, Allison Greene, Kathryn Solon and Erica Kamler will also add depth and versatility to the lineup.

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TheWestfield Leader
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Revised: September 14, 1997.