Warren's Dhali, Kaether earn sectional berths
Warren had a couple of gymnasts earn berths in next Thursday's Mundelein sectional.
Sharon Dhali and Olivia Kaether are moving on for the Blue Devils after New Trier won the Lake Forest regional championship with a 145.825, while Lake Forest was second (140.7). Both schools qualified for the sectional. Niles North was third (134.25) and Warren fourth (133.6) on Thursday night.
The other teams advancing to the sectional are Carmel (148.15), Mundelein (145.8), Glenbrook South (143.725) and Stevenson (142.2), which earned the other at-large spot.
Dhali has been trying to get to the sectional since he freshman year, and the senior's hard work finally paid off. She finished fourth in the all-around (37.25) and tied for fourth with New Trier's Avery Faulkner on floor (9.15). Dhali might also qualify for the sectional at-large in her other events.
"I wanted to go out there and do the best I could do and have fun," Dhali said. "This season, I have been working the hardest out of all four years. I was hoping to qualify and get a chance to make it to sectionals. New Trier and Lake Forest look like they put in a lot of hours of practice. They are fun. They cheer us on and we cheer them on too. I thought my floor was my best event. I did all three skills that were new to me. I just wanted to chuck it out and see how I could really do."
Kaether was dealing with some sickness and stress. The freshman finished in a fifth-place tie with Lake Forest's Lindsay Fontana on vault (9.225). Kaether might qualify on bars at-large.
"I'm happy to qualify, even though I didn't feel too well," Kaether said. "I was really considering not competing at all, but vault is the one event that I like. I was really nervous and some of it went away after I competed on the bars. I had felt sick all day. When I got here, I could barely move and was so nervous. But once I competed, I felt better."
Lake Forest had an impressive North Suburban Conference meet last week, finishing runner-up to Lake Zurich with a 145.3, and Scouts' momentum carried over to the regional. Lake Forest endured an injury during the meet.
"We had a girl go down at the beginning of the meet," Lake Forest coach Brittany Moccia said of Reagan Fisch. "I think the team really pulled for one another and really motivated one another to get through that struggle. It was a loss, but we're a team that has a lot of depth, and when it comes to pulling it all together, we're pretty good at that."
Kristen Fisch of the Scouts was the runner-up in the all-around with 36.7, finishing behind New Trier's Maeve Murdock (36.675). Fisch also was second on floor (9.35) behind Murdock (9.5). Fisch placed third on beam (9.275) and fourth on vault (9.275).
"I think it was good competition for the beginning of our postseason," Fisch said. "I think we walked in very confident because we've been practicing so hard this entire season. We wanted to show what we can do."
The Scouts' Taylor Cekay took second on beam with a 9.475, while the Trevians' Murdock posted the top score (9.5). Murdock also earned the top score on bars with a 9.25, and her teammate Rachel Zun finished first on vault (9.4).
Avery Byrd of Niles North placed third in the all-around (36.05). She also finished fourth on beam (9.075) and tied for fourth on bars with Faulkner of New Trier (8.875).