Submitted by Jane Feely
Their state finale may have been a long time coming but the girls on the Level 5 team at Ultimate Gymnastics know how to save their best for last.
At their state meet held recently in Peoria, the girls from the Gurnee-based gym crowned five state champions -- three on vault and two on floor exercise. Their competition brought to an end Ultimate's most successful season to date, with 24 state titles across all the competition levels.
Competing in the youngest Child A age group, Gurnee's Ashley Derrick turned in an outstanding performance across all four events. Her 9.30 score on vault won her a state title. She also placed third on floor, scoring 9.625, and her all-around scores of 37.675 earned her a silver medal.
The Youth age division at state proved to be Ultimate's most successful, with the girls, as a team, placing third in the state. The team was helped by Ella Skelton, who scored 9.55 to win the state title on floor exercise in the Youth B age group. She also placed second on vault.
Claire Kauppila won gold on vault in the Youth C age group, scoring 9.30, and in the Youth E age group Olivia Fletcher won a bronze medal on uneven bars.
In the Junior B age group Lake Forest's Gianna Pasquesi turned in Ultimate's top scoring all-around performance of the weekend. She won the state vault title and took home a silver medal on balance beam. Her all-around score of 37.75 placed fourth in what proved to be a tough scoring age group.
The final state title of the meet came in the Senior E age group when Jordan-Ann Scott danced her way to state gold on floor exercise. She also placed second on vault, third on uneven bars and fourth in the all-around.
Ultimate's other gymnasts who placed in the top 10 in the all-around at state included Ashley Weihs (9th, Youth D), Claire Kauppila (7th, Youth C), Ella Skelton (9th, Youth B), Emma Stermitz (10th, Youth A), Kayleigh Glickley (5th, Youth D), Mary Xakellis (5th, Junior E), Natalie Warnes (8th, Senior E).
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