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Baldwin finishes as WPIAL gymnastics runner-up

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Baldwin climbed one rung up the WPIAL gymnastics ladder at this year's championship meet held last weekend at Moon Area High School.

The Lady Highlanders, who placed third in the WPIAL last season with a 137.675-point total, captured the runner-up position this year with 140.099 points.

“The girls are improving in great lengths this season,” Karen Krieger, Baldwin's veteran head coach, said. “The competition has been really tough. For this team to come out of the season with only one loss, has been a tremendous accomplishment in itself.”

Moon repeated as WPIAL champion with 146.492 points. Moon and Baldwin were followed by Hopewell, South Side Beaver and Fox Chapel in the top five.

Individually, the Lady Highlanders were led at the WPIAL finals again by sophomore standout Josie Karabinos, who secured third place in the advanced all-around scoring with 36.708 points.

“Josie had very strong bar and floor routines, and a very difficult vault she performed to near-perfection,” Krieger said. “However, she had a fall on her back tuck on the beam, which took her into third place in the all-around competition.

“Her goal this weekend (at the Pennsylvania Classic) is to hit all four events and potentially win the all-around in the diamond division.”

Karabinos, who burst onto the scene as a freshman last year as a Pennsylvania Classic gold division and WPIAL all-around titlist, placed fourth on the floor, fifth on bars, sixth on beam and seventh on vault at this year's WPIAL finals.

Baldwin's senior leadership in 2012-13 is being provided by the trio of Arisai May and Maura Costa and Fallon Ferrari.

May also competed in the advanced division at the WPIAL meet and ended up eighth in the all-around scoring.

The remaining team members are underclassmen. Nikki Gorecki, Ashley Rebel and Carrie Mangan are sophomores, while Shelby Donahue and Alexis Cadwallader are freshmen.

Donahue, Rebel, Costa and Ferrari were WPIAL championship participants.

The Pennsylvania Classic championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Moon. Both individual and team champions will be crowned.

“We have many girls on the team who will be in contention for both individual and state titles,” Krieger said. “This weekend's competition will come down to consistency and not giving up tenths on the little things.

“The girls know that this weekend will probable come down to which team has the least amount of bobbles. We know that if we even have one fall, we will be out of it. The pressure is on, but we are prepared for the battle and looking forward to a very exciting competition.”

The Lady Highlanders' team strengths are the vault and floor exercise events.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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