Gray on point for Fremd in MSL victory
Like many gymnasts, Fremd's Ella Gray started in the sport at an early age.
Gray began her career in the third grade, and now, as a senior, she's able to reflect somewhat on the journey that will soon conclude with the end of the conference season, the Mid-Suburban Championship Meet, and ultimately the postseason.
"It's been a lot of fun," said Gray, "but it's also little bittersweet. This year has just flown by. People always say that they do, and it's really crazy (that her prep years are coming to an end)."
And Tuesday night in the latter part of the season in a MSL triangular, Gray showed how far her talent has taken her.
Gray won the all-around with a mark of 35.60, and she led her team to a win over host Schaumburg (second place) and Barrington.
"The girls all did really well tonight," said Vikings coach Kacey Kronforst. "They've been working really hard on trying to get the finishing touches on their routines before the postseason,"
The runner-up placement for the Saxons included a victory on the vault from Chali Baumann (9.25).
"It was our senior night and we did great," said Schaumburg coach Eric Harima. "It's always nice to have the last conference meet of the year at home, and overall everyone performed well. We had a season high by quite a bit, which is always a good thing. It was a very positive result and the girls kept the energy up."
Baumann wound up taking second in the all-around with a score of 34.75, a mark that included a third-place finish on the uneven parallel bars.
Barrington's Sofia Rosenzweig tied for first on the balance beam with a 9.0, along with teammate Anika Patel, who earned the same score.
"She stood out tonight," said Fillies coach Jason Loeffler of Rosenzweig, a junior. "She had a great beam routine, and she's a tough kid, a strong kid who's always accountable. When we put her up on events and we ask her to push through, she will. She's a great competitor."
Kacey Tokunaga of Fremd, along with Ember Stennett of Barrington, tied for the win in the floor exercise, with both posting a 9.35. Olivia D'Angelo of the Vikings was third at 9.30.
Julia White of Fremd was second in the parallel bars (8.50), while Tokunaga took third in the all-around with a 34.55.
Gray's winning night included a win on the parallel bars, as she posted an 8.65; she was second in the vault at 9.20; and was outstanding on the beam as well, placing third (8.80).
Gray, who has narrowed her college choices down to Liberty or Baylor, added that she'll miss the close camaraderie of the high school gymnastics experience.
"I was a club gymnast," she said, "and going to high school gymnastics was a big difference. You can really feel the team atmosphere and the love that everyone has for one another."
"Ella had a great meet," said Kronforst, "and our goal the rest of the way is to just keep moving up, get our team total a little higher each time out. The girls still have some things they're trying to work in to their routines, trying out some new things before we get to the conference meet.
"They want to feel confident about what they do, put a couple more skills in there, and get them perfected before the end of the season."