CAPITAL AREA ACTIVITIES CONFERENCE
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Grand Ledge, t-2. Fowlerville/Byron, t-2. Haslett/Williamston/Bath, 4. East Lansing, 5. Mason, 6. Holt, 7. St. Johns/DeWitt
League’s top gymnasts: Devin Carapellucci (East Lansing), Olivia Fossum (East Lansing), Eliana Laws (Mason), Dani Wolanin (Fowlerville/Byron), Janelle Hall (Grand Ledge), Afton LaFrance (Grand Ledge), Lidia Clarizio (Haslett/Williamston/Bath), Chloe Knop Holt), Allison Piper (Holt), Madison Moore (St. Johns/DeWitt)
Coaches: Claire Fossum and Alyssa Forsthoefel (2nd season)
Top returning gymnasts: Devin Carapellucci (so.), Paris Henry (sr.), Olivia Fossum (jr.), Kelsey Mongoven (jr.)
Other contributors: Brynn VanDyke (so.), Rinoa Hicks (so.), Angela Loomis (jr.), Grace Swords (jr.), Jaela Centeno (so.)
Outlook: The Trojans return several key pieces from last season’s squad. Carapellucci, a sophomore, made it to states in beam, floor and vault as a freshman, and Henry is entering her fourth year on varsity. Fossum returns after missing her sophomore season with an ACL injury. She made it to states as a freshman.
Last season: 3rd (CAAC)
Coach: Katie Paquette (11th season)
Top returning gymnasts: Dani Wolanin (so.), Gabby Joliff (so.), Kenzie Brigham (so.), Maddy Moran (so.)
Other contributors: Isabelle Litz (fr.), Bekah Leonard (fr.), Quinn Soerries (fr.)
Outlook: The combined team of Fowlerville/Byron returns a handful of underclassmen with varsity experience. Wolanin qualified for states in the all-around event last season. The team, which is made up of five freshman and five sophomores, will look to continue to remain near the top of the CAAC standings.
Last season: t-1st
Coach: Duane Haring (15th season)
Top returning gymnasts: Arianna Guerrero (so.), Janelle Hall (Sr.), Afton LaFrance (sr.), Carsen Perry (sr.)
Outlook: The Comets are hoping to capture their 10th consecutive league title in 2017, and they’ll look to do so with a handful of accomplished gymnasts. Hall placed ninth in the vault event at states as a junior, and LaFrance finished fourth in the floor event. Guerrero tied for fourth in the floor event at the regional as a freshman, and Perry qualified for regionals a year ago.
Last season: t-1st
Coaches: Marcie Durso (22nd season) and Shera Emmons (12th season)
Top returning gymnasts: Ness Benjamin (so.), Madeline Glaza (so.), Lidia Clarizio (jr.), Hailey Gauss (so.)
Other contributors: Olivia Muzzall (so.), Ally Schonfeld (so.), Immy Kniss (fr.), Heidi Scott (fr.), Katie Sloan (so.), Jordan Valley (so.)
Outlook: The combined team of Haslett/Williamston/Bath is coming off of its first undefeated season in its history, and the program is looking to continue its success by returning multiple gymnasts who played a major part in last year’s success. Glaza, Clarizio and Gauss were all all-league performers last season. Sophomores Benjamin, Muzzall and Schonfeld are expected to be big contributors.
Last season: 3-3
Coaches: Jamie Kline and Christie Lueder
Top returning gymnasts: Allison Piper (so.), Chloe Knop (sr.)
Other contributors: Chloe Scholten (so.), Isabella Burgess (fr.), Madison Wear (fr.)
Outlook: The Rams are a young team this season, according to Kline, and hopes to continue to improve in the CAAC. Piper and Knop were both all-league performers in the all-around event as juniors, and Scholten, a sophomore, is entering her second season on varsity.
Coach: Kristen Ruff (1st season)
Top returning gymnasts: Eliana Laws (jr.), Amanda Wilkinson (sr.)
Other contributors: Ashlyn Wilkinson (fr.)
Outlook: Under first-year coach Ruff, the Bulldogs are looking to grow as a program in the new season. Ruff said she is hoping to help some of her gymnasts capture individual success at both the regionals and states.
Last season: 1-5 (CAAC)
Coach: Deb Davis (29th season)
Top returning gymnasts: Madison Moore (jr.), Emilie Krish (jr.)
Other contributors: Eve Madill (so.), Georgia Sands (so.)
Outlook: Both Moore and Krish were regional qualifiers for the dual team of St.Johns-DeWitt last season, and they’ll be looked at to lead the program this year. The team has just six gymnasts, and Davis said she wants to help them improve by the time regionals rolls around. This is the first season St. Johns and DeWitt have combined, and it’s given the program a couple of newcomers.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.