New Trier's Scafidi stepping back to full recovery

 When New Trier sophomore Kerry Scafidi initially shattered her left ankle on floor exercise at club regionals in April, just returning for the high-school season was in question.
She’s competed in the Trevians’ first four meets so far. On Monday, she added vault to be an all-arounder for the first time this season as New Trier defeated Evanston 137.60 to 101.50 in Northfield to improve to 2-0 in the Central Suburban League South Division.
“I didn’t think I would be where I am today so I’m happy that I have what I have,” Scafidi said. “I was excited to finally compete all four events instead of sitting around and waiting.”
Scafidi isn’t just competing. She’s excelling. She swept first place on everything – all-around (36.60), uneven parallel bars (9.5), vault (9.2), floor exercise (9.0) and balance beam (8.9), the one event on which she qualified for state as a freshman. She threw a tuck Tsukahara vault.
“I’ve been just working hard,” Scafidi said. “It paid off for this meet so I’m hoping that the rest of the meets are going to go as well as it did tonight and hopefully I’ll glue me feet to beam.”
New Trier competed without head coach Jennifer Pistorius, who was out of town attending a funeral and senior and two-time state qualifier Monica Wolf because of illness. Both are expected to return for Saturday’s annual New Trier Invitational.
Despite being told to try new things, New Trier still had plenty of success.
Senior Lauren Cannon and freshman Elana Benishay tied for second in all-around (34.05) with Cannon taking second on vault (9.05) and beam (8.5) and Benishay second on floor (8.6) and third on vault (9.0), uneven bars (8.3) and beam (8.15). Junior Jeannie Round was third on floor (8.4) and fifth in all-around (32.90).
As Scafidi has gradually worked her way back, uneven bars may be her strongest event at this point because that’s the one she’s been able to train the most. Competing and excelling with her ankle and its two permanent screws surgery prove her determination.
“I really wanted to get back in order to be in high school season because I really enjoy doing high school gymnastics. It’s like more of a team sport so you feel like there’s a lot of support from other people on the team,” Scafidi said. “Since I only made it (to state) on beam, it just made me want to come back and (advance in) all four events. I want our whole team to even make it because I think we can.”

Evanston competes with no seniors, one junior

 Michelle Frazier is among three returning juniors for the Evanston varsity lineup – a program with no seniors.
“It’s pretty nice to have a bunch of freshmen, teach them new skills and give them tips on what to do,” Frazier said.
Lately, Frazier has been the only returnee in the lineup. Once again on Monday, the Wildkits competed with just four all-arounders on varsity as they lost at New Trier 137.60 to 101.50 in Central Suburban League South Division action in Northfield. North Shore County Day’s Cassie Formolo also competed as an individual and had three top-four finishes.
Frazier led Evanston’s lineup, which also included sophomore all-arounders Gabby Aiden and Kayla Beljan and sophomore Rachel Karn, who did not vault.
Junior Dianna Cisneros could be lost for season when she broke her arm just before the season opener. Junior Lauren Nortz, who will rejoin the lineup after winter break, currently is in Italy on a school trip.
“I’ve got four varsity girls left. It’s sad, but I could tell Lauren she can’t go to Italy… What? (of course not),” Evanston coach Chester Jones said. “We’ll probably average like 110, 112 this year, if we’re lucky. I’d like to see what happens when Lauren gets back and what we can do because it’s possible to go 120 and we’ve gone 113, 114 without her. We’re in one of those rebuilding years again.”
Frazier had Evanston’s top score on all four events, taking third on floor exercise (8.4), fourth on vault (8.8), sixth in all-around (31.30) and balance beam (7.9) and seventh on the uneven parallel bars (6.2).
“It’s not too stressful (with just four all-arounders) as I thought it would be, but it’s a lot harder because you don’t have the other two girls. But I think we’re doing well for not having as many varsity as before,” Frazier said.
“(Cisneros’ injury) was really sad and a really big letdown for the whole team because she’s really good and she had a lot of potential to improve further because last year was her first time trying gymnastics and she did really well. She could maybe potentially compete in the last few meets.”
Evanston used the same lineup at Saturday’s Spartan Classic at Glenbrook North. It still has the Star is Born Invite Thursday at Niles West and the New Trier Invite Saturday before going on winter break until its home invite Jan. 8.
“(I agree 120 is) possible because Lauren’s really good so I think we could add a few more points when she gets back,” Frazier said. “I hope to improve on bars (this season) because that’s one of my weaker events and probably beam.”