Most of all, they will miss her sense of humor.
Warren Township High School senior Becky Stochl has completed her gymnastics career. And she made it all the way to the state tournament held at Palatine.
The school’s athletic director Mark Pos had no problems coming up with the Gurnee Life’s athlete of the month for February. He chose Stochl.
After all, the senior had quite the month. At the Glenbrook North Regional, she placed in every event. Her best finish came on the balance beam where she took second place.
That’s the event that she took to the state meet where she placed 25th in the state, earning a score of 8.725.
“The routines aren’t so hard,’’ Stochl said. “And I don’t get nervous for beam.”
Mary Hankosky, Warren’s gymnastics coach, was delighted to have Stochl on her team this year. After all, Stochl was the lone Blue Devils performer who made the trek to state.
“Becky really stepped up all of her routines this year, especially her beam,’’ Hankosky said. “She has a passion for gymnastics that reminds me of myself when I was in high school.”
Stochl found out that diving for the swim team also worked well for her. Her sports resume now shows two diving records for the Blue Devils.
But, gymnastics rules in her world. She started when she was 9 years old. Diving didn’t enter her life until her sophomore year at the high school.
“It was such an easy transition,’’ she said. “But I didn’t think I would make it to state.”
Teammate Kyra McCue is a big fan of Stochl. She watched as Stochl emerged as a leader on the team.
“She’s been like a sister to me this whole season,’’ McCue said. “She keeps our whole team focused and working hard because she’s such a driven person who truly wants herself and our team to succeed. She’s always had an easy time getting new skills, because she’s so fearless and dedicated to the sport. She motivated me to get better, too.”
It also seems as if Stochl has a good understanding of what she can and cannot do for a gymnastics team.
“I was never really good at floor or vault,’’ Stochl said. “I’m just not very graceful. I think I’m more of a power athlete. I tried soccer, tee ball and volleyball. My mom didn’t want to force me into a sport.”
Some folks might want to argue with her self-assessment – she qualified for the Stevenson Sectional in both the floor and vault.
Hankosky wonders how good Stochl might have been if she been a year-long gymnast.
“Becky is a very hard worker,’’ Hankosky said. “And, it’s a shame she didn’t practice in the off season because she would have been one of Illinois’ top gymnasts.”
Stochl took all of her events to the Stevenson Sectional on Feb. 7.
That included a third-place finish on bars (8.875), fourth-place on vault (9.350), and fifth on floor (8.875). It was at the sectional where she qualified for state on the balance beam.
“Becky is so amazing,’’ McCue said. “She’s placed in every single meet that we’ve had this year. Most of the time she places in the top three. She’s also the only girl from our team who made it to state. The week prior to sectionals Becky got a new tumbling pass and she perfected it by the time we had the meet.”
Stochl is also a senior who enjoys having fun with friends, and on occasion they all head out for sushi.
“Becky is always making everyone laugh in the gym,’’ Hankosky said. “She has been a pleasure to coach for the past two years and I wish I had the opportunity to have coached her for longer.”
McCue agreed with that statement.
“Becky has a great personality,’’ McCue said. “She’s made our whole team laugh nonstop this season.”
Stochl is headed to Iowa State University.
“I fell in love with it,’’ Stochl said. “But their gymnasts are amazing. Maybe I’ll try out for their diving team.”