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Geneva girls gymnastics have new sectional challenge

Published: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 5:33 a.m. CDT

Geneva girls gymnasts treated Lake Park’s facility as a de facto second home in recent seasons.

The Vikings established the program’s top team scores there during the past two Upstate Eight Conference meets – including a 144.75 on Jan. 28 – using both performances as springboards to winning home regionals.

Wednesday’s Glenbard North Sectional presented a new challenge simply because the Vikings had never competed there. Junior all-around standout Ashley Puff expressed quick concern before insisting the team would be fine just as swiftly.

“Once you warm up,” she said, “you can kind of get a feel of it and adjust from there. You get a feel for the equipment and then you get out there.”

Floor exercise and beam typically are the events that require the most accommodation. While some coaches insist an apparatus is an apparatus no matter where it is set, the bars and vault fit that description more regularly.

On-the-fly adjustment is fitting, if only because being quick on your feet already is gymnastics’ overriding M.O.

While Geneva advanced its team as a regional champion last week, the St. Charles East co-op and Batavia still sent through several athletes after a productive night at the Vikings’ Mack Olson gym.

Unlike Geneva, St. Charles coach Amy Lill and Co. bring a familiarity to Glenbard North’s facilities.

Glenbard North coach Lindsay Schultz guided the co-op before Lill, and the two have remained close.

Kaylee Arnold and Jesi Ortiz helped pace St. Charles at regionals, providing leadership for a team that has fought injuries for much of the winter.

“I’m really proud of what the girls did,” Lill said. “They’ve fought the fight, fought for everything, and done everything I’ve asked them to do.”

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