Caseys’ Gymnasts Look Impressive…Again

By Brad Stratton
Staff Writer

Going into the season, the Red Bank Catholic gymnastics team was considered a favorite to win the state title. So far, they have not disappointed.

The Caseys started off the season with a multitude of impressive victories, including a three-point win against division rival Freehold and a 5.075 victory against defending state champion Marlboro.

Junior Gina Roselle and sophomore Christina Carpenter placed in all four events against Marlboro, with Roselle winning the floor exercises with a 9.0, the uneven bars with a 9.125, and the balance beam with an 8.75. Carpenter matched her teammate’s score on the beam, with an 8.75.

“Marlboro was a really big meet for us,” Carpenter said.

Roselle has exploded on the scene in her three years with the Caseys, finishing fourth all-around last year at the 1999 NJSIAA Gymnastics Championships. She also scored a 9.5 that day on the beam, enough to gain her first place in that competition.

“I hope to do good on beam,” Roselle said, “considering I was state champion last year.

“It’s always good to live up to your title. Everybody wants to beat me, I guess.”

Carpenter wants to continue the success she had last season as a freshman when she placed second in the all-around event at the 1999 Central Jersey Sectionals. She was named first-team All-Shore and second-team All-State.

So far this season, Carpenter has scored well, consistently placing in most events. However, she willing to admit she still has some work ahead of her.

“My scores haven’t been bad,” Carpenter said. “They’re a lot of places where I see improvement for myself, and I hope to accomplish that.”

Aside from Roselle and Carpenter, the talent seems to go on and on throughout the ranks, with contributions from senior Joanna Cardaccio and sophomore Lauren McKenna.

The Caseys also have gotten support from freshmen Jessica Oddo and Samantha Steiner. The duo made their presence known against Freehold back on Sept. 26, with Steiner placing in the beam and Oddo placing in two events, including a first place finish on the bars.

All these components combine to make up a formidable team, and first-year coaches Megan McManus and Michaila Reynolds, both who competed for the Caseys in the early- to mid-90s, seem thrilled.

“They’re doing a really good job,” McManus said. “This team is capable of going all the way. It’s a very deep team, an excellent group of gymnasts.”

According to many of the gymnasts, part of the secret to their success has been how close the team has been.

“I came in and I didn’t really know anybody,” Oddo said. “But all the girls are so nice. I think I’m close with a lot of the girls.”

The team spends time outside the gym, having sleepovers and pasta parties, and they seem to be enjoying themselves.

“We’re having lots of fun,” Roselle said, “and winning makes it even more fun.”

Asbury Park Press (Red Bank Reporter) – October 5, 2000