Anna Osowski, Carmel gymnastics off to fast start

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PALATINE — A freshman stole the show during Friday’s all-around competition at the girls gymnastics state meet, as Geneva’s Claire Ginsberg became only the third freshman in 38 years to win the all-around title.

The performance of Carmel freshman Anna Osowski didn’t turn heads, but it may be looked back upon as the start of something special in Mundelein.

Osowski finished in 30th place out of 32 competitors in the all-around with a 34.45. She also was in action for individual events on bars, where she had the 32nd-best score in the prelims with an 8.275, and floor, where she tied for 15th place on Friday with a 9.125. Only the top 10 finishers in each event qualified for Saturday’s individual championships.

“I think it didn’t go as I expected, because my first two events didn’t go as well I thought they would,” Osowski said. “But, I finished strong on the last two events, so that was good.”

Osowski’s finish wasn’t nearly as significant as the experience itself.

“I think it’ll help me for next year,” she said. “I knew what it was like since I had been there before, but it will still new to me.”

It was only a few years ago that Carmel was the premier team in the state. The Corsairs won three straight titles from 2010-2012. Osowski’s older sister, Kari, contributed during that run.

“Anna’s been around here for a while cheering on her sister from the stands,” Carmel coach Nicole Stroup said. “It’s pretty cool for her to now be a part of this team.”

Kari Osowski was in the stands this time.

“It was a little different seeing her in the stands for a change,” Anna Osowski said.

This winter the Corsairs began rebuilding and, thanks to an influx of young talent, narrowly qualified for state as a team.

Freshmen Maddie Graff and Alyssa Legerreta were fixtures with Anna Osowski in the all-around. Four other freshmen — Colleen Kadowaki, Arianna Mormino, Lexi McNulty and Taylor Rodriguez — either contributed in specialty roles or were on the JV squad. The team will only lose one gymnast, senior Cassie Wilson, to graduation, and its only other non-freshman this season was sophomore Antonia Durnil.

“They’ve all really bonded this year and become best friends and that’s really been neat to watch, just the relationship between them,” Stroup said. “They all didn’t know each other either before coming to Carmel, but now they’re almost inseparable and will all work during the offseason.”

Durnil joined Anna Osowski on the mats at state, scoring an 8.925 on the floor exercise.

Even those who didn’t get to compete at Palatine got a taste of what it’s like, as the team members were on-hand to root for their two teammates.

“They were here the entire weekend and got to experience what state is all about from the stands,” Stroup said. “They’ll be hungry for next year. They came in this year and went 133 in the first meet of the season and improved almost 10 points. They’re a hard-working grouping, and I feel like they’re one of the most inspiring teams I can coach. They handle themselves well physically and mentally.”

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