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Article updated: 2/15/2013 11:35 PM

Prairie Ridge takes state meet lead after Day 1

By

Prairie Ridge co-op won its first state trophy in girls gymnastics last season, finishing in third place.

This season the Wolves are hungry for more.

Cary-Grove sophomore duo Rachael Underwood and Riley Mahoney powered Prairie Ridge to the top score with 149.30 in Friday's state meet preliminaries at Palatine High School.

Lyons Township is in second with 149.05, followed by Fremd (146.0). New Trier (145.35) and Geneva (145.225) round out the top five.

Saturday's finals for team and individual events will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Palatine High School.

"I feel great, the kids did great," said Prairie Ridge coach Lee Battaglia. "I don't look at it as we're leading, I look at it as we're going into finals even. We're looking to add some stuff and add to our score."

Underwood advanced to the finals on both vault (9.725) and bars (9.6) and finished tied for second in the all-around (38.55).

"It was a good night," said Underwood. "We're just looking to finish strong tomorrow."

Mahoney advanced in three events, including vault (9.675), beam (9.425) and floor (9.4). The sophomore fell on bars, but came back to stick her beam and floor.

"That was huge," said Mahoney of her beam performance. "It is nerve-wracking, but we are really excited for tomorrow."

Fremd also is in the thick of the trophy hunt, with Sydney Plichta advancing to finals on bars (9.45) and beam (9.2).

The Vikings had a tough beam performance but came back to hit on floor, and finished strong on the vault.

"We knew we had to pick it up after beam," said Fremd senior Anna Johnson who started the Vikings on floor with a 9.35. "It means a lot to be able to perform at state as a senior."

Christine Jensen then helped the Vikings finish strong on vault, taking 11th place (9.575).

"I didn't want to hold back at all," said Jensen. "We put our hearts into it and turned things around."

St. Edward senior Abby Madden also turned things around, advancing on bars (9.45) and beam (9.45). The Green Wave senior also captured her first state medal by tying for fifth in the all-around (37.625).

"I didn't get off to the best of starts," said Madden, "but I was able to turn it around on the bars and beam. I am really excited to be in the finals."

Barrington freshman Abby Hasanov came into the meet dealing with a cold and fever, but the Fillies freshman lit it up anyway, advancing on the vault (9.675) and bars (9.525).

"I was really tired after the floor," said Hasanov who had a fall on her second routine. "But I was able to refocus and push through."

Elk Grove junior Amelia Rafferty advanced to her first finals taking sixth on the floor (9.5) and tying for third on vault (9.8)

"I am excited to get my first finals," said Rafferty. "The floor gave me some momentum and I was able to relax for the vault."

Prospect junior Gianna Scala also advanced to her second consecutive final on the floor, tying for third (9.575). Last year Scala earned a fifth-place medal on the floor.

"The floor routine is my comfort zone," said Scala. "I didn't start off with the best of meets, but I was able to finish."

Prospect sophomore Maddie Larock 11th place with an impressive bar routine (9.325).

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