Glenbard West scores season high to win regional championship

Leah Chapski takes comfort in competing at home and the confidence that she and her Glenbard West teammates can score regardless of time or place.

Chapski won vault, Grace Flint won bars and beam and Lilly McCarthy took third in the all-around as the Hilltoppers scored a season-high 139.525 during Wednesday’s Glenbard West regional. They held off Geneva’s 137.3 to earn the automatic qualifier to next Thursday’s Wheaton Warrenville South sectional.

“I think that being at home was nice with our own equipment and obviously we’ve been practicing on this equipment this whole time,” Chapski said. “I think a big reason why we did so well is just because the amount of practice we’ve been doing. Whether the meet was here or not I think we would’ve done good considering how much we’ve practiced.”

Glenbard South was third with a 126.875 and Glenbard East was fourth with a 113.3. Carbondale, which was limited to a single competitor on the bars, scored 99.95.

Flint’s excellence helped her post a 9.425 on bars early in the competition. The junior then finished with a 9.275 to bring home the beam win.

“I just wanted to go out and do the best that I could,” she said. “I feel like I’ve done a lot of routines to get to this moment so it feels good to finally be here. I feel like going into beam we were a lot more confident in what we were doing.”

After winning their ninth straight conference title — sharing the honors with York this year — the Hilltoppers won their eighth consecutive regional.

The names change but the excellence finds a home in the same gym year after year.

Chapski, a junior, won vault with a 9.2 and took fourth in the all-around with a 35. Freshman Maddie Ford was sixth in the all-around with 33.325. She she took third on beam with an 8.8 to qualify in the individual competition at next week’s sectional. Her floor and bars scores also were key. McCarthy, a first-year senior, finished with a 35.1 with her scores in all four events helping the Hilltoppers. She took fifth on vault (8.95), third on bars (8.8), fifth on beam (8.7) and fourth on floor (8.65). Freshman Caylen Berger boosted the team total on vault (8.75) and floor (8.5). Junior Talia Haq’s vault (8.4) also helped the team shatter its previous high of 138.85 earlier this month.

“We circled a couple things at the beginning of the year of what would be our goals — retaining our streak of conference championships and our streak of regional championships,” Glenbard West coach Carlos Fuentes said. “Those are two very big ones on our list and we were able to do that. We’re extremely proud of that. It seems like a whole new squad, but continuing the tradition of excellence for Glenbard West.”

Geneva sophomore Reese Lackey won floor with a 9.25 on her way to winning the all-around with 35.975. She snuck ahead of senior teammate Brooke Lussnig’s 35.525.

“I’m so proud of Brooke and Reese,” Geneva coach Kim Hostman said. “To get 1-2 in the all-around is so exciting.”

The Vikings still could advance to the sectional as a team based on their score. They’ll learn if it’s happening after Thursday’s Lake Park regional is completed.

“We have a really good shot,” Hostman said. “I think the energy was super strong today. The girls supported each other. They had a really good time. Right now I think we’re number one for the at-large so hopefully everything pans out with tomorrow and we get through as a team.”

Lackey also took second on vault (9.125), fourth on bars (8.7) and second on beam (8.9).

“I had a lot of fun today,” she said. “It was good to come in here and get that title. I had fun and a lot of my teammates were super awesome, too. It was a great day.”

The spirit of her teammates helped spark her winning effort on floor.

“That was super exciting, but I couldn’t have done it without the cheering and the fun from the teammates, you know,” she said. “I mean, obviously it gets stressful at points, but I was like going through it with everybody, but they’re going through the same thing so it really helps.

And we had stress balls today, too. That was funny.”

Lussnig tied for second on floor (9.075) was second on bars (9) and tied for fifth on vault (8.95).

“As a team I think the energy was really good today,” she said. “We all had fun and to get second in the all-around was a good accomplishment at regionals to move onto sectionals.”

Vikings freshman Julia Świerczewski took fifth in the all-around (33.9), third on vault (9.025) and tied for fifth on floor (8.55) with Carbondale senior Sydney Staley to also advance.

Senior Maeve Devlin added scores on floor and beam to help the Vikings. Sophomores Beyza Cosentino and Annie Fellinger got involved, too. Cosentino earned an 8.35 on vault and Fellinger had a 7.225 on bars.

Glenbard South sophomore Ava Blalock was seventh in the all-around (32.575) and Glenbard East senior Olivia Broyles was eighth (31.95) to lead the Rams and the Raiders.

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