PALATINE – The scoring system for the IHSA Girls State Gymnastics finals makes moving up the team standings a tough task. The only way team scores improve is if individual competitors better their scores from the previous day, making it incredibly difficult for teams to leapfrog other squads in the standings.
On Saturday, the Geneva and St. Charles co-op teams each maintained their Friday positions, taking home fifth and sixth positions in the state, respectively.
It would be a tough act to follow for Geneva and its freshman wunderkind Claire Rose Ginsberg. Ginsberg won the state all-around championship on Friday with a 37.875, becoming the first freshman since 2005 to win the state title.
Ginsberg was the youngest competitor left in each of the events and narrowly missed top-3 finishes in the vault (9.55) and balance beam (9.45), settling for fourth in each event.
The freshman saved her best for last though, turning in a fantastic performance on the floor exercise. Ginsberg’s 9.575 was good for third place and a spot atop the state podium.
“It was exciting to place in individual events; I was confident coming in after yesterday,” Ginsberg said. “We were kind of disappointed because I think we could have done better as a team. We messed up yesterday and I think we came in here hoping we were going to get one of the top two spots. But it’s OK, things happen and hopefully we’ll be back next year.”
Geneva coach Kim Hostman beamed with the thought of what the next three seasons could be like with Ginsberg. It was Hostman who purposely deceived Ginsberg on Friday, telling the freshman that only team results were counted and individual accolades weren’t awarded until Saturday.
“I decided to make that choice not to explain to her how it works as far as individuals,” Hostman said. “So she had no idea the all-around event was going on yesterday. She thought she was hitting for the team. I told her that she was the all-around champion last night and she said she should have been more nervous.”
Vikings stalwart Dominique Brognia made her final performance of her career in the floor exercise. It was a tough week leading up to the state meet for the senior as she hurt her wrist early in the week and also dealt with a death in the family. Despite a somewhat lower score – 9.075 – for her standards, Brognia was upbeat when reflecting on her four-year career.
“I was very excited for everything even though my hand was hurting. Dr. Ginsberg helped me out too with realigning it and I got therapy done to it, too,” Brognia said. “We ended fine. I wish it was top-3, but there is nothing we can do now. Before last year we never been to state so I think this is awesome that we made it two years in a row.”
St. Charles senior Kelly Gorniak finished up her high school career by placing fifth in the floor exercise with a 9.425. The score helped St. Charles stay in sixth as a team on a night when a fire alarm briefly delayed the meet.
St. Charles sophomore Rachel Dugan tied for fifth place on the uneven parallel bars.
“Last year we came in eighth place so we came in here with nothing but room to go up,” St. Charles coach Amy Lill said. “Did we have a perfect meet? No. But I think my girls are happy with sixth in the state.
“Kelly has nothing to be ashamed of. I think she worked really hard and did everything she could. I’m really positive about the future. I know we’re graduating quite a few seniors but hopefully with the girls we do have and new girls that will be coming out, I think we will continue to have a strong team.”
Lyons Township took home the overall team title with a 151.275, nearly improving a whole point over its Friday score. Crystal Lake co-op (148.85) and Fremd (146.675) rounded out the top three teams.