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updated: 1/24/2013 10:44 PM

Banner night for Vernon Hills' Tran

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Alli Tran of Vernon Hills landed her Yurchenko pike vault for a season-best 9.7, giving her top honors on Thursday night in the North Suburban Conference girls gymnastics meet at Lake Forest.

And with some extra help from coach Alison Gildemeister, Tran also lined up a date for the school's turnabout dance to be held in a couple weeks.

Gildemeister covered Tran's vault score with a poster that posed a decidedly non-athletic question: would Tran's boyfriend, Gabriel, accept an invitation to the dance?

Gabriel walked out of the stands and answered affirmatively, with a hug.

"I had talked to my coach and I'd made the sign (Wednesday night)," Tran said. "I got a good score, and everything worked out."

Adding to Tran's banner night was a second-place finish in the all-around (37.65), right behind freshman teammate Hannah McGreevy (38.35).

Stevenson won the meet with 140.75, ahead of the host Scout (140.1). Next were Libertyville (136.65), Vernon Hills (132.95), Mundelein (132.65) and Warren (129.15).

Lake Forest was named the overall conference champion by virtue of winning the regular-season duals and ended finishing with a total of 11 points. Stevenson tied Vernon Hills in the regular season and finished with 10.5.

"Earlier in the year, we'd lost to Vernon Hills or else we could've been co-champions, like last year," Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. "There's a lot of competition here, and winning the meet was gratifying."

McGreevy found herself atop the podium several times. She had winning finishes on beam (9.7) and floor exercise (9.7) and tied for first on bars with Becca Feltman-Frank of Stevenson at 9.35. McGreevy was also second on vault (9.6).

"I was hoping for a really good meet and trying to be confident out there," McGreevy said. "My confidence is there now, and I need to focus on not falling. Things, I hope, will fall into place."

Tran finished second on floor with a 9.65 and tied for third with Lake Forest's Kat McKeon on bars (9.25).

Stevenson's Alyssa Weisberg placed fourth in the all-around (36.9), third on beam (9.5), fifth on floor (8.95) and tied for fifth on the bars with Mundelein's McKenzie Kehr and Libertyville's Mariah Lee (9).

Feltman-Frank picked up the fourth spot with Weisberg on vault (9.45) and Riley Trebilco also finished fourth on beam (9.25).

"Bars have always been my strongest event," said Feltman-Frank of tying for first. "There's always something to improve on. It was a good a routine -- I just need to hit more handstands and work on my dismount."

Nicole Ornoff of Mundelein placed fifth on the beam (9.2).

Lake Forest's Robin Straus was named the coach of the year. She will be retiring at the end of the season after 34 years of coaching.

"I just loved being with the girls and being around them," said Straus, who has a couple of state trophies and six conference titles, three of them outright and three shared. "I hope I have been able to inspire them over the years."

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