Tough Feltman-Frank leads Stevenson
Stevenson's Becca Feltman-Frank competes on the balance beam during a meet on Jan. 11. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:05PM
LINCOLNSHIRE — A broken big toe couldn’t keep Stevenson’s Becca Felte-Frank away from the gym.
Felte-Frank suffered the toe injury late last season. Although such physical damage would sideline many gymnasts, Felte-Frank gritted her teeth, competed on bars and vault and helped the Patriots take second place in last February’s girls gymnastics state finals.
“She was the MVP for the team last year,” Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. “She has worked steadily through the summer upgrading her routines and adding events that she did not complete last year because we needed her in the lineup.”
The graduation of Ali Castriano and senior Caitlin Pagano created two large scoring voids for Stevenson this year. Felte-Frank has had to step up and try to fill some of the void as an all-arounder this winter.
“It’s definitely been a different experience this year, which isn’t bad, but it’s a change,” said Felte-Frank, who competed at a dual meet against Mundelein Jan. 7, her first since taking third in the all-around (36.1) at the New Trier Holiday Invite Dec. 22. “It’s been interesting to see everyone working hard and then seeing how much they improve. We’re all focused on improving.”
Felte-Frank and fellow senior Riley Treblico are co-captains. Just four years ago — a year after Stevenson won a state title — they joined the team as freshmen.
“No one took them very seriously at first because they were both so darn cute,” Harwood said. “They both had some health issues and were limited to as how much they could do because of stress fractures they had when they came to the high school team.”
Harwood is taking them seriously now, and is counting on them to help them finish strong. The Patriots are a perennial power, having won five state titles since 2000 and qualified for the state finals in 11 of the past 13 years.
“The two of them are going to make a major difference to our team score during the second half of the season,” Harwood said. “They make a major difference to the motivation and dedication of the team every day.”
Felte-Frank entered high school with back problems, sharing a common fracture of the L4 vertabrae with Treblico.
“Hers is worse than mine, but she never stops because of it and never complains,” Treblico said. “She’s a great inspiration because of how hard she works and she’s funny.”
Felte-Frank isn’t sure where she’ll go to college, but expects to pursue a degree in the medical field. Both of her parents are doctors, and a sister is studying medicine.
“I like the feeling of working hard for something and a team sport like high school gymnastics allows that,” she said. “I try to go out and be positive about everything and put a good mental note for others to follow.”