A happy Lauren Feely of Carmel Catholic left with a huge smile after nearly landing a perfect Yurchenko layout full vault on Saturday afternoon in the Lake County girls gymnastic meet hosted by Mundelein.
She finished the event the smallest possible increment away from perfection, taking top honors with a 9.95.
"I knew it was a good vault, because I got some real good height off the table," Feely said. "I did take a step on the landing and that's something we're going to focus on, the small steps.
"Seeing that score shows all the hard work that pays off."
About a year ago, Feely hit a 10 in a meet held at Barrington. In recent meets, she says she'd rather concentrate on her form.
"I really don't like to focus on my scores," Feely said. "I just try focus on a good block, sticking the landing . . . and if I get the 10, then I get the 10. It's a taste of perfection."
Feely delivered a season-best in the all-around with the top score of 38.95. She also landed in the first spots on balance beam (9.75) and floor exercise (9.8), plus second on bars (9.45).
Carmel's Sarah Cohen-Smith had a season-best all-around score (38.1) and placed second. She was also second on vault (9.8) and fifth on beam (9.4).
The Corsairs set a season-high-team mark of 146.45 and won the meet. Stevenson finished second (140.95) and Barrington was third (140.05) in the nine-team field.
"We needed to get some meet experience," said Carmel Catholic coach Nicole Gludzinski, whose team has competed in three meets over the last seven days. "I thought we did pretty well. We did well at Lake Forest (last Saturday) and it boosted their confidence. At Libertyville (Wednesday), we had some positive things come out of there. Then, today, everything just fit for most of them."
Stevenson reached the 140 level for its first time this season.
"We're on the rise, and the girls have been working hard," Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. "We're figuring out the things that we're doing wrong and adding some more difficulty. Every day, someone is doing something new."
The Patriots' Alyssa Weisberg finished third on beam (9.5) and Becca Feltman-Frank placed fifth on bars (9.3) and tied for fourth with Alli Tran of Vernon Hills on vault (9.55).
Barrington's Abby Hasanov, a freshman, chalked up second on beam (9.65) along with thirds on vault (9.65) and floor (9.7).
"When there's more people at a meet, that's what gets me more motivated," Hasanov said. "I did have a bad warm-up (on beam). I just figured, 'This is it,' and I got it in my mind to get it done."
Vernon Hills' had gymnasts take third and fourth in the all-around, Tran (38.075) and Hannah McGreevy (37.85).
Tran captured the top spot on bars (9.55) and placed fifth on floor (9.625); McGreevy placed second on floor (9.75) and fourth on bars (9.35).
"This does boost my confidence for later in the season," said Tran of her bars routine. "It was one of my strong ones. It was a lot cleaner and I stuck my dismount."
Lake Forest's Katherine McKeon took third on bars (9.4) and fourth on beam (9.45).