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Glenbard West hits everything
By Chris Walker | Daily Herald Correspondent

Shannon Dietz helps Glenbard West to the York Invitational championship Saturday in Elmhurst.

 

Ed Lee | Staff Photographer

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Published: 1/20/2008 12:37 AM

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The one thing you can count on each year with the Glenbard West girls gymnastics team is consistency and excellence on the balance beam.

The Hilltoppers were precise and nearly flawless during Saturday's York Invitational as all five gymnasts hit on beam and it helped the team earn the championship, edging runner-up Sandburg 141.35-140.675.

"The girls came in real excited on beam, and the group of girls we have went 5 for 5 last year and placed third as a team," Hilltoppers coach Carlos Fuentes said. "They had the confidence and were really psyched to have the opportunity to better that or equal that from the year before. Their workout yesterday was tight and focused, and they just went out there and did well."

Courtney Gonzalez led the Hilltoppers on beam, followed by Rebecca Stephan, Sarah Udelhofen, Katie Rosch and Sarah Andrew.

While it didn't make a resolution to do so, in the four times Glenbard West has competed in 2008, the Hilltoppers have scored a 140.525 or better. Their season best remains a 142 in a home dual meet Jan. 9 against Lyons Twp.

"We knew we could do really well and we showed it today," said Gonzalez, who led the Hilltoppers by finishing second in all-around. "We were the only team to have all five go up and hit, and for the team to really succeed we need to do that."

In addition to having the top beam score, the Hilltoppers won the floor exercise with a 35.725.

"The girls have really upgraded difficulty on floor and are pushing," Fuentes said. "We still have a little more difficulty to add in the next few weeks, and we're working hard on strength and conditioning to do more difficulty."

Naperville North's Sami Piotrowski won the all-around with a season-best 37.9. She fell slightly short of the career-best 38.125 she tallied in last January's Naperville North Invite.

"This was the first time (this season) I've hit all four events, so it was a good feeling," she said. "I'm in a good mood."

Piotrowski began with beam, the only event she's had some issues with this season, and closed on the bars.

"I was really nervous because you're always nervous for the first event, and then on top of that it was beam," she said. "I've been doing millions and millions and millions of beam routines this week to prepare and it finally paid off."

Catherine Miller finished in sixth place in all-around to help Neuqua Valley take fourth place. Other area standout performances included York's Jackie Stefani on floor, Neuqua Valley's Bryn Walsh on vault and Naperville North's Carolyn Filarski on bars.

Lastly, after finishing in second place with a 136.7 in last weekend's Neuqua Valley Invitational, Waubonsie Valley slipped to a score of 129.95 and 10th place on Saturday.

"Our beam scores were definitely overall a lot lower although we weren't tight on beam but still they seemed lower," Warriors coach Lacy Woulfe said. "But it's that time of the year where the judges start judging harder so you usually see a little lower drop."