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.”