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updated: 1/14/2012 11:09 PM

Fremd speaks up with 147.60

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

If Fremd was looking to make a statement, the Vikings certainly made one Saturday.

Host Fremd controlled the Mari-Rae Sopper Invitational from start to finish in securing the title with a season-best score of 147.60 in Palatine.

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Lyons took second with 142.325, followed by Naperville Central (138.725), Sandburg (137.375), and Oswego Co-op (136.625).

Junior Shannon Lemajeur powered the Vikings' attack by taking second in the all-around (37.20) and vault (9.6), and adding a pair of third-place finishes on the bars (9.4) and beam (9.075).

"The energy was just fabulous," said Lemajeur of the Vikings' overall effort. "We started really well on vault and the energy just kept going the entire meet ending on the floor."

Lemajeur had plenty of help as senior Stephanie Uhrich took third in the all-around (36.575), fourth on floor (9.325) and fifth on beam (9.0).

The Vikings' youth movement also made a statement with sophomore Christine Jensen taking second on beam (9.35) and third on vault (9.5), while freshman Sydney Plichta placed second on bars (9.5) and fourth on beam (9.05).

"We have a really close team and we've been building off that," said Jensen. "It started on vault tonight and we just kept picking each other up."

What is even more impressive is the Viking were without juniors Stephanie Gallo and Anna Johnson, both key members. Johnson is out for the season with an ankle injury, but Gallo is due back and will add to a powerful Vikings attack.

"By far it was our best meet yet," said Fremd coach Tim Hamman. "Since winter break they have had to go through some rough patches with injuries, but I think they are finally getting their confidence. Finally we're getting healthy and it is all coming together."

Lyons freshman Kelsey Kurfist dominated the meet individually, sweeping all four events and taking first in the all-around with an impressive 38.10.

Kurfist also took first on vault (9.65), bars (9.55), beam (9.4), and floor (9.5).

"I just wanted to stay calm and not worry about the outcome," said Kurfist. "I just focus on my skills and my routines."

St. Charles co-op junior Jesi Ortiz used a solid routine in taking second on the floor (9.4). Ortiz hit her first pass and rode the momentum to an impressive performance.

"It felt good to stick the opening pass," said Ortiz, "It gives me more confidence and now I want to work harder."

Jessie Cruse took third on floor (9.35) in helping Naperville Central secure third place.

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