Having not competed in 29 days, Naperville Central certainly had a reason to be rusty during Saturday's Naperville North Invite.
Instead, the Redhawks scored a season-best 133.6 points to finish in third place.
Prospect won with 141.975 points and Barrington was runner-up with 139.2 points.
"For us it was an OK meet," Redhawks coach Glen Reimers said. "We really thought we could do better, and we had a couple talks behind the bleachers and they all agreed."
Still, the Redhawks had reason to celebrate as they narrowly edged Glenbard West (133.5) and the host Huskies (133.4) to earn third place.
"They're excited because of the third place, which they didn't expect," Reimers said. "That kind of lit a fire under them, because they've practiced better than they competed today, so they're excited because they know they can do better."
Jill Schubert led Naperville Central, taking fourth overall in the all-around with a 35.825. Her best finish was fifth on floor with a 9.125, while Vanessa Henry added an 8.9 on vault and 8.5 on beam.
The Hilltoppers welcomed back Amber Broucek who averaged a 9 on all four events en route to an all-around of 36 and third place.
"This feels like my first meet because I've been out for awhile," she said. "I feel good. I worked really hard to get back into things and to do like I did today, I feel very good about this meet."
Balancing a busy gymnastics schedule and schoolwork became difficult for Broucek. Now she feels back on track in both aspects.
"I kind of fell behind and decided I needed a break to catch up from school," she said. "It feels great to be back."
Naperville North is accustomed to getting two big all-around scores from sophomore Anneli Kawaoka and junior Michaela Robert. Kawaoka placed sixth in the all-around with a 35.375, but Robert's 33.225 was below her season average. She did place third on vault with a 9.5.
"We could've done better, but I'm still really proud with how we did as a team," Kawaoka said. "We kept it together and pushed through it."
Erika Climo tied for sixth on beam with an 8.775 for the Huskies.
Glenbard East settled for eighth place with a 129.05. It proved to be an eventful day on bars, though, for Rams freshman Veronika Srey, who surprised herself by taking fourth place with a 9.
"I've been having a lot of problems on bars," Srey said. "I didn't make anything during my warmup and then there was more pressure on me when I did it for real. I'm really proud because I didn't expect this."
Barrington sophomore Abby Hasanov won vault with a 9.55 and beam with a 9.375 to help her claim the all-around title with a 37.15. Prospect's Maddie Larock was second in the all-around with a 36.975 and won bars with a 9.475. Lastly, Glenbrook North's Carli Betman was the floor exercise champion with a 9.325.