Rolling Meadows' Kane on to finals again
Nicole Kane of Rolling Meadows chalked her way into the state finals for the second straight year.
She hit her routine in on the parallel bars and scored a 9.475 in the preliminaries of the girls state gymnastics meet on Friday at Palatine High School.
However, this year, Kane comes in a lot healthier than she was at this time last year. She had to deal with an injury that kept her out of competition for most of last year. But she returned for the state series and finished in third place in the state finals.
"I feel like there's more pressure than last year, because of what I faced last year," said Kane, a junior. "I have competed the whole entire season and I'm not as much as an underdog like I was before. So I feel the nerves around the state meet. I just try to breathe. I just look around at all my friends telling me to calm down because they know how nervous I get."
Just before the state meet, Kane had been working hard getting ready for her state opportunity.
"All the hours I put in all week, I've been doing several routines each day," Kane added. "I just wanted to make sure that I can perfect everything. I really just wanted to make it to the second day."
Schaumburg's Alexis Rothmeyer finished sixth in the all-around (37.175), while Glenbard West's Maddie Diab was the top gymnast (38.55) and Carleigh Pistorius of Maine South was the runner-up (38.075).
Rothmeyer also qualified for the finals on bars (9.425) and beam (9.375).
"It was fun and exciting and I was excited for the whole day," said Rothmeyer, who's a freshman. "I was kind of nervous at first. I was definitely ready for it and thought I could do my best."
Lauren Tenbrunsel of Barrington will be making her first appearance in the finals on beam after she had a 9.3, which was a welcome relief after missing a chance to make it last year and missing the all-around by one-tenth of a point.
"It means a lot to me to make it," Tenbrunsel said. "Making it to the second day, it was more than I can ask for. There was a lot of competition out there. I was trying to stay focused on myself. As soon as I start looking at other girls, I start questioning my own self. If I stay positive and focus on myself, I'm able to diminish the pressure."
Collette Roth of Maine South reached the finals on the bars (9.5) and on beam (9.3).
Pistorius and Diab each had the best vaults of the preliminaries with a 9.8.
Diab also had the best score on bars (9.625) and beam (9.625), while Pistorius had the top score on floor (9.6).
Glenbard West stands as the top team going into the finals on Saturday afternoon. The Hilltoppers posted a 148.85, followed by New Trier (147.325), Maine South (147.25), Glenbrook South (147), Carmel (145.375), DeKalb co-op (144.975), Glenbard East (143.8) and Lincoln-Way East (141.25).