Girls gymnastics: Mundelein's Muench musters courageous effort at Deerfield

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/31/2018 10:35 PM

At this point of the girls gymnastics season, many of the competitors are dealing with injuries.

Mundelein sophomore Amanda Muench is one of them. She managed to competed in three of the four events, bypassing floor exercise, during Wednesday night's Deerfield regional.

Muench managed just fine. She earned a 9.2 on balance beam to share top honors with teammate Elle Mishler and placed fifth on bars with an 8.8.

"I've been bothered by two ankle injuries and a knee injury, and I jammed my pinkie the other day," Muench said. "I am kind of a mess. I still wanted to go out there and have fun.

"I felt good on the beam because it's my strongest event, and I thought it was an accomplishment for me," she added. "It shows that all the hard work can pay off. Beam is always rough. You just have to push (the pain) aside and do what you know you can do."

Mundelein, which won its fifth straight North Suburban Conference championship last week, was in a battle with regional host Deerfield all night.

The Warriors prevailed with a 142.425 to qualifying automatically for next Tuesday's Niles North sectional. Mundelein was second with 141.125, which left the Mustangs as the second at-large team spot behind Glenbrook North (141.55). There's one regional left in the complex, Thursday at Glenbrook South.

"It's not where we wanted to be," Mundelein coach Jesse Piland said. "We definitely wanted to have our destiny in our own hands, instead of Stevenson's hands. Which is a scary thought. We'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully, we can survive and advance, and sometimes that happens."

Audrey Kafka of Mundelein earned first place in the all-around with 35.875, just ahead of Deerfield's Sam Edelstein (35.8).

"I'm proud of the team and the way we came together," Kafka said. "We always have bumps in the road that set us back. But winning the all-around is good. It gives me reassurance possibly for state or moving on with my team and helping them. Being with the team is a lot better than being alone when you're moving on."

Kafka also finished second on vault (9.075) behind Beacon Academy's Renata Fulk (9.15). Kafka picked up a fourth-place finish on bars (8.85). Mishler finished fifth on vault (8.8).

Libertyville junior Kylie Skie qualified in the fifth spot on floor with a 9.175. Orly Hirsh finished in the top spot (9.4). Skie missing a chance to compete in the state series last season due to a PCL injury suffered right before the NSC meet.

"I think (advancing) is really exciting, even though I believe it wasn't my best routine," Skie said. "I know that I'm capable of more."

Libertyville put together its highest score of the season with a 132.775 and was one spot ahead of Niles North (128.75).

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