ROSELLE – St. Charles co-op senior gymnast Emma Grace Redmond-Mattucci always dreamed of a 5-for-5 performance at sectionals.
The smile on her face after the Lake Park Sectional Thursday showed her satisfaction with going 4-for-4.
Redmond-Mattucci advanced to her fourth state meet on floor exercise automatically by tying for fourth place (9.35) and at-large in all-around (36.325), vault (9.325) and uneven parallel bars (9.15).
The state meet starts next Friday in Palatine.
“You know what? I’m really happy because I made a goal freshman year to hit all four years for state,” Redmond-Mattucci said. “It’s going to come true and I’m happy for that.”
Also competing at sectionals were St. Charles co-op senior Mychaela Guy and freshmen Blakely Kresl, Sydney Kamin and Alivia Silvestri, Geneva seniors Lily Chapman, Kelly Frank and Emma Lieberman, junior Gracie De Vita and freshman Kathryn Wendt and Batavia sophomore Taylor Novotny.
Redmond-Mattucci’s 10th place on uneven bars was the at-large cutoff score. On beam, Kresl’s 10th-place 9.025 just missed the 9.1 state cut and Frank, a 2017 qualifier and two-time state competitor, was 17th (8.6) with no falls. Silvestri, competing as an all-arounder (12th, 35.375), scored 9.1, but she did not qualify for sectionals on beam.
"[State] was a big goal of mine,” Kresl said. “I had a few bobbles, but it’s good for me. [Sectionals] was really exciting, all of the team spirit and stuff. It’s a lot different [than club]. But it’s a lot of fun.”
Because she did not advance on beam (19th, 8.5), Redmond-Mattucci never achieved reaching a state meet in all five events. This will be the third straight year in which she is in four – all three for all-around, vault and uneven bars and twice for floor and once for beam in that span.
In 2015, she reached state on uneven bars and floor. After Thursday’s fall off beam, an automatic .5 deduction, Redmond-Mattucci responded on floor, her next and final event. She shared the event’s fifth-highest score among the state’s four sectionals.
“Floor is my favorite event. I’m a dancer and I love tumbling, too. Emotionally, it was a little bit harder [after beam] but I was able to channel that,” Redmond-Mattucci said. "I was disappointed about beam, but it’s OK to fall and high school gymnastics teaches you that a little better than club. And I think that the support system is more important than hitting.”
As far as supporting teammates, Redmond-Mattucci has been an anchor for a relatively young lineup that came one spot from reaching the six-team sectional field.
“Emma Grace was great,” Kresl said. “She’s a big supporter to the team. She’s just a great teammate. She’s always cheering us on.
"I can’t even tell you the help she’s given the coaching staff on top of the freshmen,” added St. Charles co-op coach Tom Wirth. “With her and Mychaela, the freshmen were coming off a club team where it’s more individualized so it was a lot of new stuff for them. They helped get them in shape and how to prepare for these meets.”
For state, Redmond-Mattucci has 1-for-4 on her mind. She never has reached the Saturday’s event finals for qualifiers among Friday’s top 10 preliminary scores. In 2016, she tied for 16th on vault (9.375), .1 from finals.
“I’m really hoping,” Redmond-Mattucci said.