Glenbard West qualifies for state
Timing is everything in gymnastics.
That includes hitting at the right time.
DeKalb/Sycamore co-op and Glenbard West both were outstanding during Thursday's Glenbard West sectional but it was the team from the west that took home the title.
DeKalb/Sycamore outscored Glenbard West, 146 to 143.675, to win the sectional. But the Hilltoppers still qualified for next weekend's IHSA state finals at Palatine as they earned the final at-large berth.
Lake Park, which was third with 141.6 points, just missed the cut.
"This was awesome," DeKalb/Sycamore senior Madeline Kees said. "That was so much fun. We started out on vault and we were strong there and then bars was good. Beam was a little iffy, but we still hit our routines and then ended with one of our best floor rotations of the season. I'm really excited but happy that there's room for improvement."
Kees won the all-around with a 37.925 to lead the winners while junior Eden Russell was third with a 36.425 and sophomore Annabella Simpson was fourth with a 36.4.
"We were just so prepared for this meet and went out there with so much confidence," Russell said. "We were so excited to be here and we stayed positive through the entire thing and that brought us to where we are now."
DeKalb/Sycamore isn't finished either. Scoring 146 points, the team equaled what Vernon Hills scored in its sectional and only Prairie Ridge scored higher with a 146.95.
"Freshman year was the last time we went as a team and we were just happy to be there," Kees said. "This year it feels good to be going and that we have more of a purpose and there's a job to be done. It's really going to motivate us in the gym and we're super excited."
Glenbard West received a 34.775 from its lone all-arounder Samantha Hopper, who finished third on vault and second on floor, scoring a 9.3 in both events. Skylar Oh was fourth on floor with a 9.25 and third on bars with a 9.3. Megan McNamara was sixth on vault and floor exercise. Alina Bhagwakar, Brooklyn Ford and Janelle Gama contributed to the team score on events. For the Hilltoppers, team depth is taking them to state.
"You never know what's going to happen, especially in the moment," Gama said. "We did get a couple points higher than our regional so we really improved on our performance."
DeKalb/Sycamore and Glenbard West scored 2.375 and 2.425 points higher, respectively, in the sectional compared to regionals.
Only Willowbrook, which received a second-place finish in the all-around from Bella Naumovsky with a 36.575, improved by 3.15 points, taking sixth with a 136.85.
Wheaton Warrenville co-op was fourth with a 137.55 and Geneva followed with a 137.1.
Haylie Hinckley took fifth in the all-around for Wheaton Warrenville co-op with a 36.325. Teammate Jordan Wach tied Naumovsky for fourth on vault.
Geneva's Brooke Lussnig took second on vault with a 9.325.
"I'm really excited to make it to state as a sophomore and knowing there's so much more I can do in the next two years," she said. "I had a rough start on beam but I made sure to not let it get in the way of other things."
York senior Martha Miklyukh tied Russell for fourth on bars with a 9.2. Lake Park sophomore Julia Bartnik placed second on beam and Leyden junior Sefora Hanc was fourth. Senior Paula Naronowicz extended her season for the Lancers, taking fifth on floor.