Mariah Matesi is starting the new year right.
The Glenbard North senior scored a season-best 37.3 in the all-around to guide the Panthers to a 138.25 to 133 victory over Naperville North in Thursday's DuPage Valley Conference meet in Carol Stream.
Matesi won beam with a 9.4 and finished her evening with a meet-best 9.5 on floor. She added a 9.45 on vault and an 8.95 on bars.
"Tonight went really well," Matesi said. "It was pretty close to what I've been doing but it ended up being my highest (all-around)."
A new handstand on beam was one of the highlights of Matesi's strong performance.
"I just added it and it went very well," Matesi said. "We had about two weeks off to work on some things and we're all working on a bunch of new skills to get ready for the rest of the season."
Erin Panhorst didn't compete on bars but helped the Panthers with a 9.1 on floor, 9.05 on vault and an 8.6 beam score. Sophomore Annelise Frank contributed an 8.15 on bars, Shayna Bott added an 8.8 on floor and Anna Slater registered a 7.7 on beam and finished with a 31.7 in the all-around for the winners.
"The girls have really been stepping up," Glenbard North coach Allison Nelson said. "Erin (Panhorst) and Mariah (Matesi) are hitting all their routines and Annelise (Frank) has really stepped up as a sophomore and kept us going on floor and beam."
While the Panthers are aiming for their fourth state appearance in five years, their scores this winter don't project them for such a destination. Still, they expect to be in the discussion.
"The girls are just going with the attitude of wanting to hit as many routines in each meet," Nelson said. "The more of those they hit, the closer they get to their goals."
Katilyn Daly won vault with a 9.5 and sophomore Michaela Robert claimed top honors on bars with a 9 to lead the Huskies.
Robert (34.95) and Daly (34.75) both competed in all four events.
"It was a little rough for me after everything seemed to be perfect in warm-ups," Robert said. "I still need to work on beam, and on floor I've upgraded a couple passes so this was a good test of finally going out and competing them. It was rough, but hopefully I'll clean them up."
Grace Carlson, Stephanie Mueller, Shelby Porter and Carleigh Turner all competed in multiple events for a Huskies squad that's gearing up for its own Invite on Saturday.
"We're still struggling on certain events," Naperville North coach Chris Stanicek said. "Beam is still a riddle for us, although tonight was better. I think we're getting there, but we still have some things to clean up and hopefully we can transfer it to our meet on Saturday."