Palatine nips Buffalo Grove
Palatine's Jocie Waddington missed the first half of last season with an injury. So the sophomore wanted to make sure she got off to a safe and fast start this year.
Waddington is fully healthy for the Pirates and won two individual events and tied for the all-around as Palatine beat Buffalo Grove 136.15-133.00 in the girls gymnastics season opener for both teams Wednesday in Palatine.
Waddington won the vault (9.25) and the beam (8.90). She also tied Buffalo Grove's Leah Oyen for the all-around with each gymnast scoring a 35.30.
"My attitude was very good," Waddington said. "I did get to compete a little bit at the second half of the year. I was excited to be back out here, especially that we have a lot of home meets this year."
Waddington got plenty of help as the Pirates were able to open their season with a Mid-Suburban League crossover win.
Palatine's Sam Morgensen, who is junior, won the bars with an 8.65. Morgensen has the unusual task of starting off the event, which she happens to enjoy.
"I like to start off and be consistent," Morgensen said. "I can set the bar for my teammates, so we can do well on the event."
Alyssa Eckels, Riley Strahl, Elly Nilsen, Emily Ziemba also competed well for Palatine.
"We had a good meet," Palatine coach Terry Theobald said. "We have a couple of new kids and a whole bunch of new younger kids. They did what they are supposed to do."
Theobald, who has not had a team qualify for state since 2008, said this team has an opportunity to break that string.
"We have talked about that already," Theobald said. "We have a lot of work to do, but I think this team has an opportunity to make it there."
Buffalo Grove got a very good performance from Oyen.
Besides tying for the all-around, Oyen also won the floor (9.20) and finished third in the vault (9.00).
"It was my first meet of the year so I was pretty nervous," Oyen said. "But I did pretty well. I was really happy with my floor routine because floor is my favorite event. I am very proud and the team did well too."
Also doing well for the Bison was Anna Lang. Also a sophomore, Lang finished third in the all-around with a 33.45 and was second on the floor with an 8.85.
Hannah Fricke, Dagmara Sobolak and Hannah Greenspan also competed well for Buffalo Grove, which has a very limited varsity roster at this point in the season.
"We did pretty well," Buffalo Grove coach Allison Leslie said. "We did what we expected to do. We have some strong individuals but we are a small team this year. We are hoping that we can develop some of our younger gymnasts along the way to give us some depth."