Girls gymnastics: Fast start, fast finish for Fremd

 
By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/13/2017 10:53 PM
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  • Fremd's Gianna Christodoulopoulos competes on floor exercise during Wednesday's gymnastics meet at Rolling Meadows.

      Fremd's Gianna Christodoulopoulos competes on floor exercise during Wednesday's gymnastics meet at Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Rosie Barros competes on floor exercise during Wednesday's gymnastics meet in Rolling Meadows.

      Prospect's Rosie Barros competes on floor exercise during Wednesday's gymnastics meet in Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows' Jenna Byrne competes on the uneven parallel bars during Wednesday's home gymnastics meet with Fremd and Prospect.

      Rolling Meadows' Jenna Byrne competes on the uneven parallel bars during Wednesday's home gymnastics meet with Fremd and Prospect. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Melanie Ng competes on the balance beam during Wednesday's gymnastics meet at Rolling Meadows.

      Fremd's Melanie Ng competes on the balance beam during Wednesday's gymnastics meet at Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Jillian Schmit competes on vault during Wednesday's gymnastics meet in Rolling Meadows.

      Prospect's Jillian Schmit competes on vault during Wednesday's gymnastics meet in Rolling Meadows. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows' Morgan Niecikowski competes on the balance beam during Wednesday's home gymnastics meet with Fremd and Prospect.

      Rolling Meadows' Morgan Niecikowski competes on the balance beam during Wednesday's home gymnastics meet with Fremd and Prospect. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Fremd's girls gymnastics team is on the rise.

The Vikings used a fast start on the beam and closed equally strong on the uneven bars while rolling to Mid-Suburban League crossover triangular victory at Rolling Meadows.

Junior Gianna Christodoulopoulos (35.75) and senior Melanie Ng (35.15) went 1-2 in the all-around to help the Vikings secure a season-best mark of 142.10.

Prospect took second with 134.85 points followed by host Rolling Meadows (128.0).

"The girls are doing really well and feeding off each other energy," said first-year coach Kacey Kronforst of the Vikings' attack. "We were young last year and we're still pretty young this year, but I'm happy with where we are."

Christodoulopoulos has definitely made a nice impression to start the season. Last year, she offered glimpses of her potential but this year she's delivering it.

Christodoulopoulos took first on the floor (9.3) and added second-place finishes on the beam (8.85) and bars (9.25) to help set the tone for Fremd.

"I'm just way more confident this season," Christodoulopoulos said. "I worked on my skills really hard over the summer and I was ready to go once the season started."

Ng was a state qualifier on bars last season and she has had no letdown this season. The Vikings senior started her night by taking first on the beam (9.25) and ended by winning the bars (9.3).

She capped her bar performance with a double-back dismount to put a nice exclamation point on the Vikings' performance.

"The experience we gained last year is going to help us this year," Ng said. "The team is really working hard and we are coming together."

Sophomore Sam Shirmer added to the Fremd attack by taking first on vault (9.3), tying for fourth on floor (9.0) and taking fourth in the all-around (35.0).

Senior Ellyce Wong added a third-place finish on vault (8.8) and tied junior Kate Watson for third place on beam (8.65).

What makes the score even more impressive is that Fremd is missing Abby Moran, a state finalist on the beam last year. The Vikings senior is set to return on Saturday and will give her team a lift.

One more bit of background on Fremd: The Vikings' streak of 24 consecutive state appearances ended last season, but they seem to be on track to return to state this season.

"We are definitely motivated and ready to get back," Christodoulopoulos added.

Sophomore Jillian Schmit gave Prospect a lift by taking second on the floor (9.10) and adding a third-place finish on bars (9.0). She also finished third in the all-around (35.10).

Prospect looked really strong on floor, with freshman Olivia Tader (9.05) taking third and senior Rosie Barros (9.0) tying for fourth.

"We were really excited with our floor routines," Schmit added. "We have really been pushing each other."

Tader also added a second-place finish on vault (9.05) in helping lift the Knights to a season-best score.

Rolling Meadows made a nice comeback after losing sophomore star Nicole Kane to a broken leg on Dec. 4. Last year, Kane was a state qualifier on bars.

But sophomore Jenna Byrne gave the Mustangs a lift by taking sixth in the all-around (33.10).

"We have some depth but it's young depth," said Rolling Meadows coach Michael Costas of Kane's injury. "It's not going to replace what we lost, but we are coming together."

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