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updated: 12/19/2012 10:54 PM

Prospect clinches in East, keeps looking forward

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Prospect's girls gymnastics team has set some high goals for itself this season, and the Knights took another step toward them on Wednesday night at Rolling Meadows.

Sophomore Maddie Larock tied for first in the all-around (37.75) leading Prospect to a Mid-Suburban League East triangular victory with 140.85 points.

The victory clinched the MSL East Division title for Prospect, and after their early season performance the Knights have to be considered a threat to qualify for their first state meet.

"Securing the East title is definitely a big accomplishment," said Prospect coach Randy Smith, "but qualifying for the state meet is definitely in the back of all the girls minds that's their driving force."

Freshman Kelly Johnston tied for the all-around (37.75) in leading Rolling Meadows to second with 133.85 points, followed by Elk Grove (126.65).

Prospect finished with a flurry on the bars, with Larock leading the charge at 9.6. Junior Gianna Scala (9.4) tied for second, with sophomore Maddie Boldt (9.3) taking fourth place and junior Jackie Difonzo (9.0) tying for fifth place. Larock also took first on floor (9.45), tied for second on vault (9.4) and took third on beam (9.3) in an impressive performance.

"It means a lot," said Larock of clinching the East. "It gives us confidence going into the rest of the season knowing what we can do and what we will do, but there is still more to come."

"We had a few wobbles and bobbles to start the meet," said Scala, who tied for second on vault (9.4). "But we really pulled it together on the bars. It's a huge accomplishment to win the division, but we know there is a lot more."

Johnston had a breakthrough meet in leading Rolling Meadows. The freshman started the night by taking first on the vault (9.6), continued by tying for second on the bars (9.4), added a second-place finish on beam (9.5) and ended the night by taking third on the floor (9.25).

"I'm just going out there and doing what I know how to do, and staying confident," said Johnston. "There is definitely a lot of competition, but I'm just going out there and doing my best."

Junior Rachel Anderson gave the Mustangs a boost on the beam (9.2) taking fourth place.

Elk Grove junior Amelia Rafferty also showed she will be a threat. The Grenadiers junior took first on the beam (9.6), added a second on the floor (9.4) and tied for fifth on the bars (9.0).

Rafferty created quite a buzz earlier in the season when she hit a 9.9 on floor, and she added to her momentum on beam Wednesday.

"I've been making a lot more routines in practice and it's really helping my confidence," said Rafferty, who nailed her flip-flop layout on the beam. "I just want to keep improving and clean things up."

Freshman Anna Bonder aided the Grenadiers by taking fourth on vault (9.0).

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