Depth carries Prospect to triangular win
Prospect's top all-around gymnast, Gianna Scala, was limited to one event at Wednesday's Mid-Suburban League East triangular.
But the Knights still rolled.
Sophomore Maddie Larock took first in the all-around (36.05) leading host Prospect to the first-place finish with 138.35 points.
Hersey took second with 121.45 points followed by Wheeling (118.30 points).
Scala earned first-place honors on the vault (9.35) in the opening series. Then the junior let her teammates do the rest.
Larock stepped up, cruising to first on the bars (9.3), beam (8.4), and floor (9.4) in pushing the young Knights' effort.
"We were able to pull it out even without Gianna," said Larock, who added a third-place finish on the vault (8.95). "Adding her to the mix will just make us stronger."
After a shaky beam series, the Knights closed the meet with a flourish, placing flour girls in the top five on the floor.
Freshman Candice Melendez (9.15) followed Larock with a second-place finish on the floor.
Junior Jackie Difonzo (9.0), and sophomore Maddie Boldt (8.7) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
"We really picked it up at the end," said Difonzo. "It really helps having girls able to step up and contribute."
"After the beam we really rocked on the floor," said Prospect coach Randy Smith. "It was a nice way to clean up."
Prospect got a big lift from Boldt, who tied for second on the bars (8.95). Freshman Oliva Sullo added a fourth-place finish on the vault (8.55).
Junior Annie Johnson paced Hersey by taking second in the all-around 35.45.
Last year Johnson missed a chunk of the regular season due to an injury but the Huskies junior showed her skills on Wednesday, taking second on vault (9.2) and beam (8.2), tying for second on bars (8.95) with a third-place finish on floor (9.1).
"She is really starting to step up and figure out where her strengths are and what she needs to do to take it to the next level," said Hersey coach Ben Anderson of his junior leader.
Johnson is picking up the pace after being slowed by a dislocated finger early this season. It was the junior's second consecutive strong showing after an impressive performance at the Hersey Invitational on Saturday.
"I'm getting more confident," Johnson said of her progress. "The main goal this year is state. I just need to stay focused."
Wheeling was missing junior Anne Janulis but classmate Annah Meintzer helped fill the gaps by taking third on the beam (8.05) for the Wildcats.
"She finished strong on that routine," said Wheeling coach Nicole Maila, who is seeing improvement with her young squad. "We're trying to build skills and gradually add more difficulty to our attack."
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