Girls gymnastics: Barrington brings home MSL crown; Rolling Meadows' Widawski takes individual title
A year ago, Rolling Meadows' Caitlin Widawski missed the Mid-Suburban League girls gymnastics championships due to a hip injury.
On Saturday, Widawski was competing, but at her home gym in Rolling Meadows with the rest of the MSL gymnasts. But this time, Widawski did more than watch. The senior had her best meet of her career and came away with the all-around title with a 36.80.
"I was out last year so I wanted to give it my all this year because I am a senior," said Widawski.
"I was surprised that I won because there is tough competition here. It was hard to watch last year."
Rolling Meadows coach Mike Costa said that Widawski's work ethic is the difference.
"It all comes down to hard work," Costa said. "And you reap the benefits for that. She is a pretty talented person to start with, you combine that talent with hard work and success is very close to follow."
Widawski said her key to wining came from her focus on the beam.
"My beam was my biggest event today," Widawski said. "I have not been very consistent with my series. So I just tried to stay focused and I stuck it and I think that was the difference."
Widawski finished just ahead of last year's all-around champion Sabrina Nemce, who finished with a 36.70. Palatine's Jodie Waddingtin and Barrington's Ellie Marquis tied for third with a 36.65 while Rolling Meadows' Brooklyn Hextall was fifth with a 35.75.
Barrington won the team title with 144.35. It was the second team title for the Fillies in the last three seasons.
"These girls have worked hard and put things together," Barrington coach Jason Loeffler said. "It was great to watch. It just seemed to work today."
Cici Stennett, who won the vault with a 9.65, got the Fillies off to a great start.
"I am proud of myself and our team on how we performed today," Stennett said. "We got off to great start on the vault. And my vault gave me confidence in my other events."
Marquis won the floor with a 9.55 to help pace her all-around finish.
"It was a great meet for us," Marquis said. "We have been working in the gym and it has been a tight couple of days training. We came into today a lot more relaxed."
Barrington also got terrific performances from their other all-arounders. Sofia Rosenzweig was sixth in the all-around with a 35.70, Adrianna Merzyn was ninth with a 34.90 and Anika Patel was 12th.
Hersey was second with a 141.25. The Huskies were led by Nemcek, who also won the bars with a 9.60. Evelyn Gradek was 14th in the all-around while Grace Johnson was 15th. Jane Forsberg, Gianna Mazzola and Lauren Bayer also scored for the Huskies.
"I am proud of our team," Hersey coach Shannon Barrett said. "We didn't hit as much as we usually do. We made a few mistakes and few little hiccups. We have a few more skills to add before state and have some time to add them."
Fremd was third with a 139.10. Kacey Tokunaga took seventh in the all-around with a 35.45. Elena Goldstein, Olivia D'Angelo, Julia White, Abby Gallicho, Sarah Labonar and Billie Papadopoulos also competed well for the Vikings.
"I think we did OK," Fremd coach Kacey Kronforst said. "We have improved a lot this season and I still think we have more in the tank."
Waddington was the conference beam champion with a 9.55.