Glenbard West got off to a miserable start during Saturday's Naperville North Invite.
Opening up immediately on beam, the Hilltoppers received a 9.05 from Amber Broucek and an 8.975 from Mackenzie O'Keefe, but had to count a 7.475 from Mia Conolly and a 7.425 from Abbie Garchitorena.
Fortunately for the Hilltoppers, they recovered on floor and vault and then finished in tremendous fashion, snagging four of the top nine scores on bars to finish comfortably ahead of runner-up Prospect, 141.7 to 139.1.
"We dug ourselves a hole on the first event and with a young team it was great to see how they responded," Glenbard West coach Carlos Fuentes said. "They had a great floor set, hit well on vault and really closed the meet great on bars."
O'Keefe won the all-around title with a 36.8. Broucek tied Palatine's Abby Alden for second place with a 36.175.
"Last meet we had problems on bars and today we were very good on bars," Broucek said. "Now we need to fix beam up because it was really rough for us today."
Fuentes allowed four gymnasts to compete as all-arounders, a rarity for the program. Along with O'Keefe and Broucek, Abbie Garchitorena (34.2) and Sarah Destefano (32.975) had busy afternoons. Garchitorena had a 9.175 on vault, Destefano added an 8.95 on floor and Maggie Phillips placed fourth on bars with a 9.275.
"We had a much better hit ratio tonight and for them to finish that strong was a great accomplishment," Fuentes said. "We're getting closer to Glenbard West standards. I felt like we hit three out of four events and we still have time."
Palatine's Nicole Kuksuk won beam with a 9.225 to help the Pirates place third with 138.225 points.
"Nicole dislocated her elbow and was supposed to be out until the middle of January," Palatine coach Terry Theobald said. "She ended up doing all-around today, which was great."
Kuksuk was 11th in the all-around with a 34.925 and Claudia Przystal added a 32.975.
Kaitlyn Daly and Michaela Robert had record-breaking performances on vault to lead Naperville North to sixth place with a 134.225.
Daly won vault for the second straight year, scoring a career-best 9.6. Robert placed fourth with a 9.4, which also established a personal best. The two tied for seventh in the all-around with a 35.875.
"We have been neck and neck throughout the season which is interesting," Daly said. "We throw similar routines in some aspects, but we're also very different gymnasts. We like pushing each other and both try to do our best."
Naperville Central's Brittany Mitchell led the Redhawks with a 32.975 in the all-around. The Redhawks finished in eighth place with 130.75 points.
Claire Savard (32.3) and Vanessa Henry (32.25) were right behind Mitchell, who unfortunately injured her ankle on vault and might be sidelined next week.
"I might keep her out as we have a busy week coming up," Naperville Central coach Glen Reimers said. "I thought they did OK even though they were a little rusty. They were sore after doing routines (Friday) but they'll get right back up where they need to be."
Barrington freshman Abby Hasanov won floor with a 9.35.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.