Girls gymnastics: Geneva, U-46 both off to strong start
Claire Ginsberg, Kelly Frank and Lilly Chapman remember how badly they felt the last time Geneva had a home meet.
Bailey Pihera and Michaela Allen weren't there to remember it.
All five were in action though on Wednesday as the Vikings kicked off the new season with an impressive victory over U-46 co-op and Oswego co-op at Mack Olson gym in Geneva.
The Vikings scored a 138.65, finishing comfortably ahead of U-46's 132.15 and Oswego's 123.15.
"It's like déjà vu being the first meet of the season," Ginsberg said. "It's crazy how fast the years have gone, but I'm glad to be back. We have even more talent than I thought we were going to have so this was a good start, and I think it's going to be a really good finishing season for me."
Ginsberg, who was the all-around state champion as a freshman, took top honors in this triangular while winning everything but beam. Now a senior, she missed the regional last year with a shoulder injury while Frank (knee) and Chapman (concussion) also sat out.
"After last year we have an especially huge focus on taking care of ourselves," Ginsberg said. "We're going to take it slow and do our part to prevent injuries, but we're excited to be back and show what we can do. We didn't get to do that last year so we're going to bring it this year."
Allen (34.3) and Pihera (33.65) both had strong debuts for the Vikings and they're new to the team.
"We did really well to start the season off right," Pihera said. "I think this will help motivate us and push us even harder to improve."
Senior captain Paige Beitzel was one of just four Vikings who weren't sidelined with an injury at last year's regional. She only competed on vault on Wednesday, scoring an 8.3.
"It's going to be exciting to see what our team can do this year," she said. "We have a bigger team than usual and the potential is great."
Gracie DeVita, Lindsay King and Holly Friedel also contributed counting scores for the winners.
U-46's strong night was somewhat lost by Geneva's performance.
"It's tough to have your second meet against Geneva in the conference opener," U-46 coach Tim Whelan said. "But we had a good meet."
Ashley McKee led the way, taking second in the all-around with a 35 while fellow senior Emma Pawelkiewicz had a 33.
"I think this can be a really great year," McKee said. "We're slowly getting back our skills from last year so we're starting a bit slower but we hope to pick it up later."
McKee won the beam with a 9.1.
"It's always hard going first on beam," she said. "If you start off good on it like we did, your meet usually goes pretty good so that was a good start for us."
Madison Cruz led U-46 on vault with an 8.5.