Gymnastics regionals can bring tears of joy and of sorry.
Hit your routines and finish in the top five in an event and you qualify for sectionals individually and perhaps also help your team do so. Wobble too much or fall and you might be left wondering, "What could have been?"
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Naperville North doesn't have to answer that question, nor did the Huskies shed any tears after they won Wednesday's Naperville North regional with 138.3 points, finishing comfortably ahead of runner-up Oswego co-op's 133.975.
"I'm still figuring out how this state thing works, but I knew we stood a very good chance of qualifying for sectionals as a team and we were able to do that," Huskies sophomore Anneli Kawaoka said. "We had been doing pretty well coming into this, and other than bars we were pretty happy."
Kawaoka paced the Huskies, winning the all-around title with a 36.1. She also enjoyed the view from first place on beam with a 9.575 and vault with a 9.525. She added a 9.3 on floor. Her only downfall was a 7.7 on bars.
Michaela Robert took second in the all-around with a 35.3 and won floor with a 9.575. She was second on vault with a 9.475.
As for the specialists for the Huskies, they received a pair of second-place finishes from sophomore Erika Climo on floor with a 9.425 and beam with a 9.075, a third-place vault of 8.8 from senior Stephanie Mueller and a fifth-place effort on bars that netted a 7.725 from senior Allie Pecorin.
Altogether, the Huskies weren't at their best but were more than good enough to qualify for next Wednesday's Hinsdale Central sectional as a team.
"I'm disappointed in the overall performance, but not in the fact that we won the meet because it keeps us together as a team," Huskies coach Chris Stanicek said. "We're all about embracing the team concept, but we can't go into the sectional with the same mentality or we're not going to do what we're capable of."
This was the debut regional for Climo and Kawaoka, and Climo admitted that she felt added pressure, which could've played a factor on the team as a whole.
"Knowing if we don't do this then the season could be over added some pressure, but we also had a lot of experience competing this whole season," she said. "Now we know what to expect when we come out next time."
Waubonsie Valley/Metea Valley co-op took third place with 124.7 points but none of its gymnasts qualified for sectionals. Junior Marianna Georgiou and freshman Veronica Zahn finished in sixth and seventh in the all-around and could advance as at-large qualifiers.
Zahn also tied for seventh on vault with an 8.6, as did Georgiou on floor with an 8.55. Freshman Allison Yu added a sixth-place finish on beam with an 8.275.
Hinsdale South rounded out the competition with a 106.95.