There literally is no room for error during the Illinois Best.
Unlike regular gymnastics meets where a team is allowed to have five gymnasts compete on each event, tabulates the top four scores and disposes of the fifth one, during the Illinois Best a team designates a single all-arounder and a single gymnast to accompany the all-arounder on the four events.
Yes, it can be stressful.
Geneva handled the pressure particularly well and edged host Wheaton Warrenville co-op 70.175-70.125.
"I thought it was stressful, but we also only had to focus on our one event and make it clean," Geneva's Dominique Brognia said. "I thought we did well on our events and it was an overall great team win."
Brognia's 9.175 on the floor exercise was the fourth best score of the day.
The Vikings received a 35.175 in the all-around from senior captain Ashley Puff, an 8.35 on bars from Grace Ginsberg, an 8.3 on beam from Claire Scatterday and a 9.175 on vault from Megan Beitzel.
"It was a great honor to be selected on vault because we have a very strong team, especially on vault," Beitzel said. "Having the team cheering for me really pumped me up, and coming in I knew I only had to focus on my vault."
It was a tough ending for Wheaton Warrenville co-op, which was on the cusp of winning its Illinois Best for the first time since 2005.
"It's disappointing to lose when it's so close," Wheaton Warrenville coach Maureen Latimer said. "But I think it's good motivation for the kids. I think they'll be able to understand the importance of form breaks and balance checks and stuff like that."
Audrey Channon's 36.6 in the all-around was second to the 37.4 from St. Edward's Abby Madden. Channon was also the lone gymnast to eclipse the 9.0-plateau on beam, which she cleared convincingly with a 9.4.
Batavia placed fourth with a 63.675 behind freshman Lauren Stangl's all-around tally of 32.975.
"It was a really good day for our team," Stangl said. "I'm really glad I was able to flip my Yurchenko today. I didn't land it because I took a few steps and fell, but I'm glad I was able to do it. I just got a new floor routine and was able to do it and my bars was very good today."
Courtney Glassman added an 8.625 on vault for the Bulldogs.
Waubonsie Valley/Metea Valley co-op was right behind the Bulldogs with a 62.25. With senior standout Jessica Malon out with an injury, Alexa Puccio filled in with a 31.3.
Glenbard East took seventh with a 58.1, while Glenbard South was a distant eighth with a 45.575.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.