A season ago, Valders/Roncalli gymnastics coach Stefanie Kaderabek saw then-sophomore Hailey Szalewski had the talent to be special. Now a junior, Szalewski took another step forward for the co-op en route to being named the HTR Media All-Area Gymnast of the Year.
“Hailey’s overall presence really improved this year,” Kaderabek said. “She realized and finally excepted that she’s a gymnast people pay attention to and enjoy watching. Her confidence has continued to grow after every meet.”
Szalewski was looked upon by Kaderabek and her teammates to lead the co-op, a role Kaderabek says she handled with ease.
“She had a really great season,” Kaderabek said of Szalewski’s year. “She was by far our most consistent gymnast. We could always look to her for points whenever we needed her.”
What impressed Kaderabek the most was how Szalewski continued to work at improving across the board but nowhere was it more evident than in floor, her best event according to Kaderabek.
“She added difficulty over the course of the year by adding an extra tuck and a layout in the last pass,” Kaderabek said of Szalewski’s routine.
While she fell short of her goal of reaching State, Szalewski paced Valders/Roncalli at sectionals in three of the four individual events as well as all around. Szalewski earned a score of 31.875, good for 11th in all around, while also leading the way on floor (ninth, 8.425), vault (12th, 8.375), and uneven bars (12th, 7.725).
Kaderabek says Szalewski will continue to work hard to reach State as a senior.
“I know we’re going to keep putting in the work over the summer,” Kaderabek said. “We’re eying a trip to State so she can end her career with a bang.”