Girls gymnastics: Fremd finds top form in win

 
By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/11/2018 11:01 PM
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  • Sam Shirmer of Fremd spins through her vault effort on Thursday at Fremd.

      Sam Shirmer of Fremd spins through her vault effort on Thursday at Fremd. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Lauren Tenbrunsel is hi-fived by her teammates after her floor exercise routine on Thursday at Fremd.

      Barrington's Lauren Tenbrunsel is hi-fived by her teammates after her floor exercise routine on Thursday at Fremd. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Lauren Tenbrunsel competes on floor exercise during the MSL West triangular meet Thursday at Fremd.

      Barrington's Lauren Tenbrunsel competes on floor exercise during the MSL West triangular meet Thursday at Fremd. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Conant's Bailey Bloom works balance beam on Thursday at Fremd.

      Conant's Bailey Bloom works balance beam on Thursday at Fremd. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Melanie Ng of Fremd competes on vault on Thursday at Fremd.

      Melanie Ng of Fremd competes on vault on Thursday at Fremd. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

The Fremd girls gymnastics team sure started the new year on a nice note.

The Vikings went above the 140 mark in their last two meets in December, and they showed no rust on Thursday night.

Sophomore Sam Shirmer gave host Fremd a big boost by placing first in three events and leading the Vikings to an impressive Mid-Suburban West triangular victory with a 142.10, tying a season-high mark.

Defending MSL champion Conant took second with 135.45 points followed by Barrington (132.75).

"We trained a lot over break and worked on a lot of skills," said Fremd coach Kacey Kronforst of the Vikings' showing. "I think we came in strong to start the season and we just want to keep working."

Shirmer showed a lot.

The sophomore started the night by tying for first on the vault (9.25), then adding first-place finishes on the bars (9.0) and floor (9.3).

"Being surrounded by so many talented girls has given me the confidence and motivation," said Shirmer. "Having that time off really helped to boost our confidence on all the events."

Senior Melanie Ng (35.5) and junior Gianna Christodoulopoulos (35.5) went 1-2 in the all-around to help pace the Vikings' attack.

Ng (9.4) added a first-place finish on beam and a third-place effort on bars (8.75). The Viking senior also tied for fourth place on vault.

Christodoulopoulos added a second-place finish on floor (9.2) and a fourth-place finish on bars (8.5), and tied Ng for fourth on vault.

The Vikings showed their strength on beam, where senior Abby Moran tied for second (9.3).

"I am excited," said Moran, who also tied for third on floor (9.1). "We have been on more and more routines on beam and that has really helped us."

Junior Kate Watson also added to the Vikings' attack by securing a third-place finish on vault (8.85).

Conant hit a season high 143.40 on Dec. 13 but a few injuries have slowed the Cougars recently.

Senior Bailey Bloom set the tone for Conant on Thursday by tying for second on the beam (9.3) and tying for third on the floor (9.1). She finished third in the all-around (35.20).

Last year, Bloom secured a fifth-place state medal on beam. She is building off that this year.

"I definitely have higher expectations this year," said Bloom who has helped guide a young Cougars' squad. "Being the only senior and having the young girls look up to me makes me more confident."

Sophomore Kennedy O'Connor has also given the Cougars a nice boost.

She tied for first on the vault (9.25) and added a second-place finish on bars (8.9).

Barrington sophomore Lauren Tenbrunsel paced the Fillies attack by tying for second on the beam (9.3).

"I was really happy with it," said Tenbrunsel of her beam performance. "After my bar routine I was a bit nervous, but I just focused on hitting a good solid routine."

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