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updated: 2/4/2014 10:46 PM

Prospect forces the issue

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  • Prospect's Maddie Larock competes on the balance beam during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.

       Prospect's Maddie Larock competes on the balance beam during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg's Alyssa Kiszka competes on the balance beam during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.

       Schaumburg's Alyssa Kiszka competes on the balance beam during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Olivia Gonzalez competes on the vault during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.

       Prospect's Olivia Gonzalez competes on the vault during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Maddie Larock competes on vault during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.

       Prospect's Maddie Larock competes on vault during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Erika Ray competes on the vault during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.

       Buffalo Grove's Erika Ray competes on the vault during Tuesday's regional meet at Prospect.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Megan Donner competes on the balance beam during Tuesday's Regional Gymnastics meet in Mount Prospect.

       Prospect's Megan Donner competes on the balance beam during Tuesday's Regional Gymnastics meet in Mount Prospect.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Prospect's girls gymnastic team was a force on Tuesday night.

A night after Barrington made a strong postseason opening statement by hitting 147.025 in its regional, the Knights followed suit at the regional meet they hosted.

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Prospect delivered a season-best score of 146.625 in securing its sixth consecutive regional title and placing a firm foot forward in the quest to qualify for its first state meet.

"It's a reality," said Prospect coach Randy Smith of the Knights' state-worthy score. "It's tough because at practice bodies are hurting more and the energy level is decreasing."

"But for them to come out and put on a show like they did -- it's all on them."

Prospect advances to the Conant sectional at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Schaumburg took second with 140.775 points, followed by Buffalo Grove (129.475 points) and Maine West (102.375 points).

Junior Maddie Larock set the tone for Prospect by winning the all-around (37.875). She had the top scores on vault (9.525), bars (9.6), and beam (9.5) and was second on floor exercise (9.25).

"I am very happy with this performance," said Larock. "The score definitely make you feel a lot more confident. We hit Monday, and it's good."

Prospect lost top all-around gymnast Gianna Scala to an ACL injury before the season began, but the Knights didn't panic and it showed on Tuesday as they placed four gymnast in the top five on both the bars and floor. Freshman Olivia Gonzalez was a perfect complement to Larock, taking first on floor (9.45) and second on vault (9.5) and beam (9.425).

"I just try to do my best on every event," said Gonzalez, who helped steady the Knights' beam effort after a wobbly start. "We are all putting in effort every day, and tonight was definitely a huge boost for us."

Senior Jackie Difonzo took third in the all-around (35.75). She was third on floor (9.225), tied for fourth on vault (9.25) and was fifth on bars (8.975). Sophomore Megan Donnor delivered a fourth-place finish in the all-around (35.375) after taking fourth on the bars (9.1) and fifth on floor (8.9)

And freshman Meghan Schmit added a second-place finish on bars (9.25) as the Knights had it all covered on Tuesday.

"We didn't want to peak too early," added Smith, "And if we do this one more time we should be in for state."

Schaumburg looks like a good bet to qualify for one of the two at-large teams for the sectionals.

Freshman Myriam Brito gave the Saxons a lift by taking second in the all-around (35.85), adding a third on bars (9.175) and tying for fourth on vault (9.25). Senior Ashley Chimis also did her part by taking third on the vault (9.275) and a fourth place finish on floor (9.1) in aiding the Saxons.

"I knew we wanted to come in and hit," said Chimis. "And I just did the best I could. I feel comfortable with it. I am very happy with how the team competed."

Senior Kat Young (8.8) and sophomore Alyssa Kiszka (8.75) also delivered for the Saxons, going 4-5 on the beam.

"Hopefully we get through," said Schaumburg coach Elizabeth Proska. "We gave it a solid effort. We're tight team and I am comfortable with how far we have come this season."

Buffalo Grove sophomore Diandra Duenser gave the Bisons a lift by taking third on the beam (8.975) and fifth in the all-around (34.75).

"Beam has been my challenge all season," said Duenser, who recovered from a fall to nail down a solid beam performance. "I have had that one fall, and I am just waiting for that one time when I stick it."

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