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updated: 2/23/2014 12:03 AM

Point proved as Hasanov ties for bars title

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  • Abby Hasanov of Barrington performs on the floor exercise, finishing fourth during girls gymnastics state meet Saturday at Palatine.

       Abby Hasanov of Barrington performs on the floor exercise, finishing fourth during girls gymnastics state meet Saturday at Palatine.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Amelia Rafferty of Elk Grove finished fourth on the floor exercise during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.

       Amelia Rafferty of Elk Grove finished fourth on the floor exercise during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Sydney Plichta of Fremd finishes sixth on the balance beam during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.

       Sydney Plichta of Fremd finishes sixth on the balance beam during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd took third in the final team standings in the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.

       Fremd took third in the final team standings in the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.comMaddie Larock of Prospect works balance beam during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.

      Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.comMaddie Larock of Prospect works balance beam during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.

  • Abby Hasanov of Barrington on floor exercise during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.

       Abby Hasanov of Barrington on floor exercise during the girls gymnastics state finals at Palatine on Saturday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.comChristine Radochonski of Fremd on floor exercise during the girls gymnastics state final at Palatine on Saturday.

      Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.comChristine Radochonski of Fremd on floor exercise during the girls gymnastics state final at Palatine on Saturday.

 
By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Barrington sophomore Abby Hasanov came into the season looking to make a point.

Last year, she qualified to the finals on the bars and vault but had to scratch due to a 103-degree fever, wiping out her chance at state glory.

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Needless to say, the Fillies sophomore had a bit of unfinished business.

On Saturday at the girls gymnastics state meet in Palatine, Hasanov not only made her point, she added an exclamation mark to it.

She tied for the state title on bars (9.5) and added a fourth-place medal on the floor (9.475).

"I kind of wanted to come back and show everybody what I could do," said Hasanov, who also earned a fifth-place medal in the all-around on Friday. "I just wanted to be on the podium and have a feeling of getting a state medal."

Fremd also had reason to smile as the Vikings secured their 21st state trophy by taking third place with 146.675 points.

"That's what we come for," said Fremd coach Elise Ference of the Vikings' increasing hardware count. "I am beyond proud. Our leaders did a great job and our younger kids really stepped up."

Junior Kelsy Kurfirst won her second consecutive state title on the floor (9.675) and senior Michelle Cozza tied for first place on the bars (9.5) to lead Lyons to its second consecutive state crown with 151.275 points.

Prairie Ridge co-op took second with 148.85 points as Rachael Underwood came back from a disappointing Friday night to secure first place on the vault (9.8).

The Wolves gained their third consecutive state trophy.

Underwood had falls on both the bars and beam on Friday and also stepped out of bounds on the floor.

But the junior wiped away her disappointment with her stunning vault performance.

"I didn't do so well yesterday," said Underwood, who attends Cary-Grove and earned her sixth state medal on Saturday. "I wanted to come back today and leave it all out there."

A fire alarm interrupted the meet during intermission and the Palatine gym had to be cleared for 15 minutes.

Even the brief interlude could not stop Hasanov's march to glory.

The Fillies sophomore started on the bars making clean exchanges and nailing her dismount.

She then capped her night impressively with a clean floor routine to prove she belongs with the elite.

"She has got the medals to prove it," said Barrington coach Jason Loeffler of his rising star. "She was denied a chance to show what she had last year and she came back and delivered."

Hasanov joins Stacey Magiera, who won state titles on the all-around, beam, and bars in 1999 and added a state title on the bars in 2000, as the only two Fillies to win state titles.

"The motivation from my team kept me moving," said Hasanov, who helped the Fillies qualify as team for the first time since 2003. "I have kept improving this year and it feels great to end up on the podium."

Senior Brooke Morgan also came up big for Barrington, securing a fifth-place medal on vault (9.525) to lead Barrington to an impressive fourth-place finish with 144.70 points.

Morgan injured her left shoulder on the floor Friday night and was still feeling a bit of pain on Saturday. But the senior hit her Yurchenko pike on her first vault to earn her first state medal.

"I was icing my shoulder all day, but I knew this was my one and only shot," added Morgan, who made good on her first state qualification. "Out of all the ways I could have ended my career this was the best."

Elk Grove senior Amelia Rafferty also finished on a high note.

The Grenadiers senior earned a fourth-place all-around medal on Friday and came back to tie for fourth on the floor (9.475) earning her second state medal.

Rafferty got off to a slow start on Saturday, counting a fall on both the bars and beam.

But she ended the night on the floor and was flawless.

"Floor is kind of my thing," said Rafferty who also was honored by Illinois High School Gymnastic Coaches Association as Senior Gymnast of the Year. "I'm pretty happy; it didn't start well tonight but I more than made up for it on the floor."

Fremd qualified four individuals to finals.

But it proved to be a grind for the Vikings on Saturday.

Christine Jensen smacked her left hand on her flip-flop layout beam dismount and had it tightly wrapped at the end of the meet. She had to scratch from the floor final.

Junior Sydney Plichta recovered from a small wobble on the beam in just missing a medal with a sixth-place finish (9.325).

Junior Christine Radochonski made a big save on her final pass on the floor in taking ninth place (9.175).

Finally, sophomore Carly DeFilippo impressed with a seventh-place finish on vault (9.475).

The Vikings capped a fantastic season by taking the third-place trophy, and Jensen was a big reason.

"I think we fought all night," said Jensen of the Vikings' performance. "I couldn't have asked for a better team this season and securing a state trophy makes it even better."

"She was a different kid this season," said Ference of Jensen. "Last year we lost five seniors and it was tough, and losing Jensen will be just as hard. She has meant so much to this team."

Ference was honored by the Illinois High School Gymnastic Coaches Association by earning the Coach of the Year award.

Prospect qualified to its first state meet this year and junior Maddie Larock was central to that achievement. The Knights junior struggled a bit on the beam in taking 10th place.

"She got thrown into the fire and she did her best," said Prospect coach Randy Smith of Larock's season-long performance. "She strives for perfection and she did a great job leading this team to state this season."

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