Lake Central junior Cloe Amanatidis knows all about striving to be the best, because she’s competed in the past two state finals.
“She’s our team leader,” Lake Central coach Karen Barcelli said. “She’s got a real sense of calmness about her.”
Amanatidis finished ninth in all around at the state finals last year with a 36.975 to help LC place fourth as a team. She tied for fourth on beam (9.55) and was sixth on bars (9.3).
“As a team, we want to go down to state, and we have the potential to win,” Amanatidis said about this year’s goals. “As an individual, I want to improve from last year.”
Barcelli said Amanatidis is a pleasure to have on the team.
“She’s just really pretty to watch on every event,” she said. “She brings a lot of high skill level to bars. She is really precise when it comes to beam, and that comes from her calmness. She focuses her energy on the beam and is just so super calm on that event. She always scores very well on floor, because she’s got the skills and she’s very precise.”
Amanatidis has that quiet confidence about her and lets her performance on each event do the talking.
“I just try to keep it positive so no one gets stressed out, and it helps when you’re competing,” she said.
Barcelli said there’s obviously frustrations with the sport that Amanatidis has at times, but she’s able to work through it.
“She brings a calmness and a sense of confidence to the team,” Barcelli said. “They see the results that she gets because of that, and I really do think it helps. She’s a total anchor on our team, and she’s pretty much one you can count on to come through when you need it.”
In Lake Central’s 110.65-110.35 win over Valparaiso last week, Amanatidis scored a 36.90 in all around, including a 9.55 on floor and a 9.4 on bars. In Thursday’s 109.15-108.64 win over Crown Point, Amanatidis won floor with a 9.45 to help the Indians (5-0) remain unbeaten.
Amanatidis said she enjoys the floor and beam the most because they are fun events, and she doesn’t get nervous. She puts in the work.
“I just enjoy doing skills most on beam, so it’s easier to practice,” she said.
She credits her teammates and coach Barcelli for making her the gymnast that she is, and the team chemistry is a big part of the overall success of the program.
“Our team is really good with that, and we have fun times,” Amanatidis said. “We’ve bonded.”
Barcelli says Amanatidis is a quiet leader.
“She leads by doing and not by telling,” she said. “That's good, because no one thinks she’s bossy about it or anything. She just leads by doing and that makes people want to do it as well.”
With COVID-19 protocols, there haven't been a lot of fans at some of the meets, which Amanatidis said has affected the atmosphere a little bit.
“When you’re competing, I like it when there’s more people there,” she said. “It puts more pressure on you, and we really don’t have that this year.”
Yet, Amanatidis and her teammates should be ready when the tournament starts.