Recap of girls gymnastics season up to Regionals

From right to left, first row is Kara Ure and Christina Digioia. Second row is Cindy Feliciano and Claudia Przystal.  Third row is Morgan Anderson, Andrea Ori, and Megan Cunningham.  Not pictured are Carrie Raymond, Abby Amato, and Callie Aikman

From right to left, first row is Kara Ure and Christina Digioia. Second row is Cindy Feliciano and Claudia Przystal. Third row is Morgan Anderson, Andrea Ori, and Megan Cunningham. Not pictured are Carrie Raymond, Abby Amato, and Callie Aikman

Morgan Anderson, Copy Editor

With only days left until Illinois Girls State Gymnastics Meet, the season is coming to the close. Finishing the season, lady Pirates Kara Ure, Andrea Ori, Megan Cunningham, Cindy Feliciano, Carrie Raymond, Abby Amato, Callie Aikman, Claudia Przystal, Christina DiGioia and Morgan Anderson, they’ve had a great season despite numerous changes.

This year the team gained three crucial freshman by the end of season. Freshman Christina was in the varsity line-up from the beginning while fellow freshman Abby Amato and Callie Aikman proved their worth on the freshman team, moving up in ranks to varsity by the end of the season.

Though, don’t forget Sophomore Carrie Raymond, whose energetic leadership qualities led the JV girls, and who expertly transitioned to Varsity to gain experience and help lessen losses later in the season.

And finally who could forget senior Morgan Anderson returning from an ACL injury in the first meet of the season last year? Working up to refine skills, the senior held her own this season, going from barely making the Varsity line-up to bringing in counting scores, encouragement, and making a positive impact her final season.

Two weeks away from the Regional meet, senior Claudia broke her hand, thus unfortunately ending her final season of gymnastics quicker than expected. Understand that on varsity five people compete per normal meet, and four scores count, not leaving much wiggle room for mistakes. It’s essential to understand that Claudia’s injury, since she is a high scoring all-arounder who competed all four events, could do some serious damage.

Now, here’s some background on how the process of going to state works:

Conference is a meet of eight teams, competing for a final time at the end of the season one last time without the scores counting towards making it to state. Sectionals is the next week, consisting of four varsity teams each, the winner of each meet as well as top five finishers in each category (vault, bars, beam, floor, all-around) advancing to the Regional meet. At each regional meet, the top three teams qualify to go to state and the top ten finishers in each category qualify individually for State. The State meet has been held at Palatine High School for nigh over 20 years and will be held here this year and probably many more years to come. It’s the reason you all get a half-day on February 22.

The reason why it’s hosted here is mainly due to three things. One: PHS has quality equipment. Two: space. The PHS gym is large compared to many other older high schools and we have tons of parking space, examples being the main lot, the side lot, the stadium lot, and even the adjacent Celtic field parking. Three: location. Palatine is very close to many other high schools in the area as well as hotels for teams to stay at.

Now skip to the Lake Park Regional meet, Tuesday February 3rd at Fremd High School. Stakes and nerves are higher than ever- it’s iffy if the Palatine team will qualify for regionals or how many girls will individually qualify for sectionals. The Pirates cheered on the whole night and it definitely paid off.

Sophomore Cara Ure, one of the best Varsity gymnasts and a high scoring all-arounder, competes in the meet despite a nasty fever. She ended up kicking butt by qualifying for all-around (32.65).

Senior Andrea Ori is overcome with dizziness and is close to fainting two people before she’s up on beam… but she manages to push through the rest of the meet and ends up doing wonderfully, qualifying for floor (8.875) and vault (8.775).

Freshman Christina DiGioia had one of her best meets, qualifying for not only bars (8.475) and vault (8.7) but also all-around (32.65) as well.

Freshman Abby Amato qualified with a lovely vault (8.7).

Even though the entire Palatine girls gymnastics team didn’t qualify at large to go to Sectionals, they did pull together to help four girls advance to the next meet closer to the State meet. All in all, it was incredible personal win despite previous setbacks of injury, multiple new young additions to the team, and crazy circumstances of the Regional meet. Well done, Pirates!

The qualifying Lady Pirates will compete in the Sectional meet on Thursday, February 12, at Lake Park High School’s East Campus, starting at 6:30 PM.

Stay tuned for the follow-up!

Update on Sectionals:

The Pirates took on Sectionals as a “go big or go home” sort of meet.

Abby Amato worked her twisting vault well, earning a score of 8.875.

Christina DiGioia put in a double back dismount on bars that she unfortunately fell on, yet was otherwise clean, earning 8.0. On beam, Christina fell on her series of flip-flop, flip-flop, but finished her routine with persistence, getting 7.65.

With a rocky start of falling on her vaults, Kara Ure got 8.6 on her first event. Then, Kara completed her bars routine without falls, yet was knocked down a bit by judges due to her form, but she still received an 8.5. Despite several wobbles and a fall, on beam her score was 8.275. Finishing on her season on her final and favorite event, Kara rocked her floor routine, earning a score of 9.05.

Andrea Ori flipped well on vault, getting 9.15. Completely working it on floor, Andrea hit, but did get some weighty deductions on dance technique, getting 8.6.

Now, girls all over Illinois are getting ready for State this Friday through Saturday, February 22nd and 23rd, at Palatine High School. Individual qualifiers as well as team qualifiers will be competing in the State Meet. The team qualifiers for state 2015 are ranked below with their team’s sectional score and place scored at their sectional meet.

Prairie Ridge co-op (149.25, 1st)
Fremd (146.95, 2nd)
Geneva (146.00, 1st)
DeKalb/Sycamore co-op (144.6, 2nd)
Lyons Township (144.35, 1st)
Barrington (144.275, 3rd)
Prospect (144.075, 4th)
Glenbrook South (142.625, 1st)