Glenbard West, Wheaton Warrenville co-op going to state
More photos Hide photos
Glenbard West is going to the state for the third straight season, and Wheaton Warrenville co-op is going for the first time in nearly 20 years.
The Hilltoppers won Thursday's Lake Park sectional in convincing fashion, scoring 149.425 points, the most in any of the four sectionals.
"We're kind of checking it off the list and we're really excited to be going for the third time in a row," Glenbard West coach Carlos Fuentes said. "It's something that before the season we wanted to do and obviously we'll continue to prepare and be ready for next week."
Wheaton Warrenville co-op was the runner-up with a 145.2 and qualified for state for the first time since 2000 by snagging the final team qualifying spot, bumping DeKalb/Sycamore co-op, which finished in third place with a 144.175.
"The field this year was very tough and we had a lot of great teams here," Wheaton co-op coach Maureen Kermend said. "We want to see everyone do well and the girls really fought for this. Since the (DuPage Valley Conference meet) we kind of knew this was possible. They finally hit their stride, and staying on beam doesn't hurt for sure."
Wheaton co-op has had some outstanding teams over the years and had gotten rather close to state but just fell short. This time, though, they did just enough.
"They just put in a lot of numbers and I guess it's a law of averages, right?" Kermend asked rhetorically. "I feel like there were girls over the years who didn't necessarily make it to state but set a very good example because they showed that this was possible. Last year Laura Hughes was one."
Sophomore Jamie LaBue and junior Macy Smykal led the co-op. LaBue was fourth in the all-around and third on beam and vault. Smykal was seventh in the all-around and tied for fourth on beam.
"Making it as a team is so exciting," Smykal said. "We were all out there counting on each other to do well and cheering. Being as a team motivates us all to do better."
Despite Kermend telling her gymnasts to avoid looking at other scores, her girls pretty much knew coming in what teams were alive and what competing teams were capable of snagging one of the precious remaining qualifiers.
"We knew we were the last sectional and if we hit we'd have a high score," LaBue said. "We weren't allowed to look at other sectionals."
For the sectional champs, junior Maddie Diab brought four championships back to Glen Ellyn by winning floor, bars, beam and the all-around while taking second on vault. Her freshman sister, Anna Diab, had top-five finishes on bars and floor while junior Taylor Ramirez was third on floor, fourth on vault and third in the all-around.
"In my three years we've never been sectional champs before so this is great," Glenbard West junior Katherine Hoban said. "I just tried to start things off for the team and make them less nervous. I got all 9s on my three events and did what I always try to do."
Glenbard East took fourth place with a 142.4. Freshman Kali Kartheiser advanced to state on bars and beam as well as in the all-around by taking fifth with a 37.0.
"I was very happy to make it to state and for us to score above 140 again," she said. "I wasn't sure if I'd make it because there were such good teams here but I pulled through."
Junior Sierra Olson added a fifth-place finish on vault with a 9.375 to also qualify for the Rams.
The Lancers were fifth with as 141.375 falling short of a third straight trip to Palatine. Senior Kelly Zehnder took 11th in the all-around with a 35.45 and tied for seventh on floor with a 9.2.