Very little has separated Glenbard West from Glenbard North in recent seasons.
During sectional competition the last four years, a total of just 5.6 points -- or 1.4 points per sectional -- has been the difference between the two schools with each squad outscoring the other twice during the same span.
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They were back at it again Wednesday when the Panthers hosted a sectional for the first time since 1986.
Glenbard North took a 1.5-point lead over the Hilltoppers into the final rotation and made it stand, receiving contributions from Melissa Colao, Adina Crawford, Mariah Matesi and Amanda Quinn on the uneven bars to win with 146.35 points.
Quinn and Matesi finished 2-3 in the all-around with a 37.9 and 37.325, respectively, to lead the Panthers.
"We were really focused and just tried to do our best on every event," Matesi said. "I don't think that we thought anything about bars being our final event, just the next one to focus on."
Quinn won floor with a 9.675 and tied with DeKalb/Sycamore co-op's Alyssa Lopez for top honors on vault with another 9.675. Matesi was third on vault and floor and also took fourth on bars.
"We were coming off two very rough meets, and I think that sometimes when you see that dip, the girls get a little bummed," Glenbard North coach Lindsay Schultz said. "We had a talk about trying to have more fun and not stressing ourselves so much, and I thought the girls responded and rebounded nicely."
Glenbard West tied DeKalb/Sycamore as runner-up with 144.875 points. Such a total is the third best so far among teams that did not win any of the first three sectionals this week. Therefore, both teams could advance as at-large teams, pending Thursday's Niles North sectional.
"It doesn't put us out of it entirely, but it makes it so that someone tomorrow has to miss for us to go in," Hilltoppers coach Carlos Fuentes said. "We only had one or two misses the entire meet, so in terms of the girls going out and performing, they didn't give it away. It was a great performance against two very good teams."
Missy Guzman led the Hilltoppers, placing fourth in the all-around with a 36.375. She also tied Wheaton Warrenville co-op's Audrey Channon for first on on beam with a 9.475.
"Since I was coming off a good meet at regionals I wasn't too surprised with how things went today," Channon said. "I tried to stay calm and not put too much pressure on myself."
Glenbard West's Mackenzie O'Keefe snagged the fifth and final all-around qualifier with a 36.375. She also advanced on bars along with teammate Maggie Phillips.
Wheaton Warrenville co-op took fourth place with a 142.2. Channon led the way, taking seventh in the all-around with a 35.7 while senior Emily Cook added a 35.425.
"It was our second-highest score," Wheaton Warrenville coach Maureen Latimer said. "It's something to be very proud of, especially in this arena, so I'm very happy."
York's Meghan Davidson will return to state. She took third on beam with a 9.4.
Fenton's Taylor Patton tied for ninth on floor with a 9.175 and Sara Polvi tied for sixth on vault with a 9.25.
Geneva was fifth with a 141.1. None of the Vikings qualified for state, but that could change by late Thursday night. Junior Ashley Puff took sixth place on beam, seventh on floor and sixth in the all-around. Haley Carroll added a 34.875 in the all-around and Dominique Brognia tied for sixth on bars with an 8.9.
"I was disappointed with beam, but that said, it was a very nice meet for the girls," Geneva coach Kim Hostman said. "They accomplished so much, and to be in the 140s in the postseason is outstanding for us."
Geneva will only lose two gymnasts to graduation, so the Vikings should have a lot to look forward to next winter.
"Right now we're hoping to get Ashley through, so we'll what happens," Hostman said. "Then we'll look to continue to progress next year."
St. Charles co-op placed sixth with a 138.775. Kaylee Arnold took fifth place on vault with a 9.325 and was the lone gymnast from the Tri-Cities to qualify. Jesi Ortiz remains alive for at-large bid, placing sixth on floor with a 9.35. Sophomore Kelly Gorniak tied South Elgin/Bartlett/Streamwood co-op's Alyssa Konkel for 11th in the all-around with a 35.25.
Batavia's top scores came on vault, where senior Meggan Hagemann wrapped up her career by placing 12th with a 9.175. Junior Sarah Ganster scored a 9.15 on the same event and finished with a 32.425 in the all-around. Freshman Kaylin Clevenger had a 7.5 on beam and 7.25 on bars in her sectional debut.