St. Charles prevails on record night
Take note Cook, DuPage and Lake counties, there are two exceptionally good girls gymnastics teams in Kane County this winter.
In the highest scoring triangular meet in Tri-Cities history, St. Charles co-op defeated Geneva, 146.8 to 144.5.
Bartlett/Streamwood/South Elgin co-op was the outsider in this Upstate Eight contest, finishing with a 130.6.
"We did awesome. I'm really excited for my girls because everything came together," St. Charles coach Amy Lill said. "It seems like every meet we go to we're making solid improvements and everyone happened to hit tonight. Beam was just amazing. I'm just really happy."
An event that can be devastating was a major highlight as St. Charles put together a highlight reel on beam. Kelly Gorniak led the way with a 9.35, Cathryn Gotlund followed with a 93, Rachel Dugan added a 9.25 and Sidney Copeland offered a 9.2.
"I was really happy with my beam, especially because it's been such a nervous event for me," Gotlund said. "Today it went really good and the whole team did amazing on beam."
Gotlund and Gorniak were equally impressive on vault with a 9.55 apiece, although Dugan led the team with a 9.6, tying for top honors with Geneva's Megan Beitzel who executed a pike tsuk for the first time.
"It was one of the best vaults I've ever had," Beitzel said. "Having the team cheer me on really helped me hit it. It was a lot of fun tonight."
St. Charles' Andrea Schwartz got in on the fun as she posted the top score on uneven parallel bars with a career-best 9.05.
"Getting a 9 was one of my goals for this season so to get it was very good," she said. "I have been working on my form for the last couple weeks and it came around tonight."
Dugan was mighty impressive in winning the all-around with a 37.15. Senior Jesi Ortiz added a 9.4 on floor for the winners, who posted the highest score in co-op program history and best since St. Charles placed fourth in the state with a 146.2 in 1998.
"It was an amazing night, a great win and a great score for us," Ortiz said. "We want to make a statement and show we can be one of the top eight teams in the state. That's what we're really pushing for."
Geneva's impressive effort was slightly overshadowed by St. Charles. Still, the Vikings had absolutely no reason to hang their heads, especially with a 37.55 on vault and 36.3 on beam.
"We've never stuck beam this year and we're getting closer." Geneva coach Kim Hostman said. "I tell them if we hit beam our score will go up so there is still plenty of room for improvement."
Ashley Puff won floor with a 9.45 and took second in the all-around with a 36.4 to lead the Vikings. Sophomore Grace Ginsberg placed third in the all-around with a 36.1, Dominique Brognia had a 9.15 on floor, Claire Scatterday and Puff had 9.2s on beam and McKenna Merges had a 9.35 on vault.
"We still had some falls and errors but overall it was a great meet," Puff said. "If we can get four girls to hit on each event by the end of the season I'm really excited to see where it will take us."
Perhaps to Palatine for the IHSA state finals.
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