Naperville North, Naperville Central at their best
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There was no doubt Lyons would win Wednesday's Hinsdale Central sectional.
The Lions cruised with a sectional-best 149.875 points.
But the defending state champs winning another sectional title didn't deter Naperville North and Naperville Central to achieve some big victories either, as both teams had their best meets of the season and will be sending individual gymnasts to the IHSA state finals on Feb. 21-22 as well, thanks to their performances.
Let's start with Naperville North, which got off to a fantastic start on beam and used that energy throughout the evening to take second place with a 140.325.
Anneli Kawaoka posted a sizzling 9.725 to win beam while Michaela Robert followed in second place with a 9.65 while Erika Climo took fifth with a 9.4.
"Just a great start to the meet," Huskies coach Chris Stanicek said. "We had a couple obstacles afterwards on floor, but it didn't take us out of things. They came back strong on vault and bars to finish things up."
Kelsy Kurfirst and Katie Carling went 1-2 in the all-around to lead Lyons, while Robert was third and Kawaoka was the final automatic qualifier by placing fifth.
"It means so much tonight for us to bring our ‘A' game and for everyone to hit," Robert said. "We work hard all season for this meet, so to be able to come out here and hit solid means so much to us."
Climo, in her first season with the Huskies, admitted that even when the season just started, she had a goal of getting to state.
"I never wanted to tell myself about going, just in case, but it was there in the back of my mind," she said. "I've been doing well this season so it became more of a possibility as the season went on and to do it tonight, it's very exciting."
Naperville Central's Jill Schuberth edged Lyons' Mackenzie Stotz for the fifth and final automatic qualifier on floor with a 9.275, while the Redhawks took third overall with a 138.25.
"It's nice for the seniors to go out like this, and as a coach I couldn't ask for anything more," Redhawks coach Glen Reimers said. "They peaked at the right time. This truly was our highest score of the year."
Downers Grove South placed fourth with a 137.725 while Neuqua Valley was fifth with a 134.4.
Mustangs senior Inna Dzyuma took fourth on beam with a 9.5 and is her squads lone state qualifier.
The Wildcats were led in the all-around by junior Isis Ruff, freshman Colleen Moauro and junior Emily Jacobs as they finished back-to-back-to-back in the standings.
"It wasn't our best meet of the season, but it was all right," Wildcats coach Anthony Avella said. "We were happy more than anything to get here and compete once again as a team."
Four individuals represented the Waubonsie Valley/Metea Valley co-op, each competing in a single event.
"Overall I think they did pretty well since it was a new experience and being nervous and all," co-op coach Casey Groah said. "Veronica (Zahn) had her best score on vault of the season. I pretty much can't expect anything more from her."
Allison Yu scored a 7.5 on beam, Marianna Georgiou had an 8.3 on floor and Lexi Beutler finished with an 8.425 on floor.
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