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Team of the Week: Libertyville Girls Gymnastics

Coach John Taylor's team returns some key performers for the 2011-12 season

It's too early to name an MVP of the girls gymnastics team at . After all, the season won't really kick in until next month.

But here's a nice salute to Libertyville senior gymnast Lindsay Schweitzer. She's a four-year performer for the Wildcats and one of the team's captains.

"For the last three years she has dedicated her time to ensuring the best experience for her teammates,'' said Libertyville gymnastics coach John Taylor.  "She has attend invites and conference meets for the lower level teams even when she is not competing. Her support for her team is extraordinary."

A year ago, the Wildcats were surrounded by some of the best teams in the state. Carmel, Stevenson and Lake Forest went one, two, three in the state. Libertyville managed to get senior Leah Herchenbach Downstate. And the Wildcats won both the Palatine and Glenbrook North Invitationals.

Team Aims to Beat Last Season's Score

Taylor was delighted to add three freshmen to his team and Mariah Lee, Rachael Metcalf and Grace Boyer are back for their sophomore seasons. Taylor is hoping his team shows improvement despite knowing the area is loaded with gifted teams.

"The varsity members have been very active in the off season learning new and more difficult tricks,'' he said. "This season the goal is to top our high score of last season of a 144.98 and to be very competitive in an extremely difficult conference and region."

Taylor notes those three talented teams from last year will again be strong. Carmel, the reigning state champion, returns Lauren Feely and Kristin Mirsky, who both finished in the top five in the all-around. Stevenson should bring back Allison Castriano, former state champion on the balance beam. And Lake Forest brings back Katherine McKeon.

Strong Gymnasts on Team

The Wildcats will counter with senior Tori Metcalf. Of course, Metcalf is still busy with her other sport, diving, and will be busy this weekend at the sectional diving competition.

"She has been a varsity member her entire gymnastics career at Libertyville,'' Taylor said. "And continues to be a positive asset to the team."

Jenna Dunsing had a strong sophomore season a year ago. Alas, on regional day a year ago, she came up sick. Look for a better ending to her junior season.

"During the offseason she has been working out and seems very prepared for this season,'' he said. "She will be one of our top scorers this year on all four events."

The Wildcats get started after Thanksgiving as they host that powerful Lake Forest squad on Nov. 30.

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