All-around champ Gianfrancesco leads Prospect past Buffalo Grove

  • Prospect's Emily Gianfrancesco competes on the vault during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Buffalo Grove in Mount Prospect.

    Prospect's Emily Gianfrancesco competes on the vault during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Buffalo Grove in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Olivia Tangorra concentrates on her uneven bars routine during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Prospect in Mount Prospect.

    Buffalo Grove's Olivia Tangorra concentrates on her uneven bars routine during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Prospect in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Kaiya Koyanagi eyes the vault during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Buffalo Grove in Mount Prospect.

    Prospect's Kaiya Koyanagi eyes the vault during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Buffalo Grove in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Hannah Fricke competes on the uneven bars during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Prospect in Mount Prospect.

    Buffalo Grove's Hannah Fricke competes on the uneven bars during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Prospect in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Anika Knipple competes on the vault during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Buffalo Grove in Mount Prospect.

    Prospect's Anika Knipple competes on the vault during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Buffalo Grove in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Mackenzie Matsuda competes on the uneven bars during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Prospect in Mount Prospect.

    Buffalo Grove's Mackenzie Matsuda competes on the uneven bars during Monday's girls gymnastics meet against Prospect in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/7/2021 6:00 AM

As a freshman last season, Prospect's Emily Gianfrancesco never knew what it was like to compete in front of a high school crowd.

"I am loving having a real competition season this year," Gianfrancesco said. "The meets weren't as big last year. It is kind of my first time as a sophomore to be out here in real meets with our team. So it is so much fun to be with the team I love."

 

Prospect is off to a very good start this season. Led by Gianfrancesco, the Knights won their second meet of the season, outscoring Buffalo Grove 136.25 to 132.95 Monday in Mt. Prospect.

"We did real well tonight," said Aaron Marnstein, who is the assistant coach at Prospect and stepping in for head coach Monica Donner.

"The girls are working real hard. We had a little bit of trouble on beam, but we picked it up on vault, floor and bars. Overall, the team did real well."

Gianfrancesco also had a great performance in the opening part of the meet. She nailed her Yurchenko layout on the vault and came with an impressive 9.60.

"I did a significant amount of training this last summer." Gianfrancesco said. "Both at my club and with my high school team."

Gianfrancesco would come back at the end of the meet and score a 9.45 on the floor. She also had the top score on the beam with an 8.85. That would give her the all-around with a score of 36.30.

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The Knights also got big performances from Angelina Rago, Julie Cunniff, Kaiya Koyanagi, Anika Kipley and Anya Soriano.

Rago came up with a 9.00 on the vault, Cunniff was fourth in the all-around with a 33.0 and Koyanagi was third on the floor with 9.10.

"Our depth is very good," Marnstein said. "And we are improving our skills each day."

Buffalo Grove senior Olivia Tangorra had a very solid parallel bars performance for the Bison. She was able to hit her Gienger (release move) and scored a 9.45.

"I just put a new skill (Gienger) last meet, so this was only the second time I was competing it," said Tangorra, who is a senior and was third in the all-around with a 33.80.

"I worked all summer on it, so it is exciting."

Leah Oyen, who also is a senior, finished second in the all-around with a 34.65. Anna Lang and Mackenzie Matsuda also had top finishes for the Bison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Buffalo Grove coach Kristen Prokup, who once competed at Fremd, said having fans back in the stands is huge for the sport.

"It is such a relief to be able to be together in one place at the same time," Prokup said. "Just the atmosphere and energy you feel within the gym with everyone being here."

Prokup liked how her team performed in just their second meet and first dual meet of the year.

"We definitely are working through some things," Prokup said. "We put in some new skills the last couple of days and just need to clean up a few things."

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