By Marty Farmer
With the Downers Grove South Regional just a week away (Jan. 31), the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls gymnastics team is very optimistic.
"Our team is healthy and confident heading into the postseason," RBHS freshman Nina Tomas said. "My team and coaches are amazing. I am very excited about our upcoming meet at Downers Grove South. I expect us to do our best and perform confidently."
The Bulldogs closed out their home meets by winning the Riverside-Brookfield Invite on Jan. 20. RBHS (130.63) dominated the eight-team field with five of the top eight all-around performers.
"It is super helpful to have so many strong all-arounders," RBHS sophomore Amber O'Brien said. "We are a team so when we all place close together and high on the podium it's a good day."
O'Brien finished first in all-around with a score of 34.6 and Tomas took second at 32.705. Other notable all-around scores for RBHS included senior Katie Polanski (6th place/31.2), freshman Mia Giurini (7th/31.0) and sophomore Sydney Lindenberg (8th/30.425).
Following the champion Bulldogs, Homewood-Flossmoor was the runner-up with a score of 121.825 and Glenbard South placed third at 112.975 in team standings.
Geneseo (106.175), Morton (90.00), George Washington (31.525), University High (29.350) and De La Salle (14.150) comprised the rest of the field,
Individually, Homewood-Flossmoor's Nyela Cowan (32.2), Glenbard South's Katie Kibbey (32.0) and George Washington's Alexis Sotelo (31.525) finished third through fifth in all-around.
RBHS produced the winner and runner-up in all four events. In vault, Polanski was first with a score of 8.6 and O'Brien second at 8.5. Tomas won bars (8.25) and O'Brien placed second (8.15).
O'Brien took first in both the beam (8.7) and floor (9.25). Polanski earned second in beam at 8.35 and Giurini notched second in floor at 8.8.
"Our team did really well getting first place," Polanski said. "We had some struggles on bars including myself, but our last events were really solid. It really helps that we have a lot of strong all-arounders because it helps us achieve our goal of a 130 score."
In a triangular meet hosted by Morton on Jan.11, the Bulldogs also won that competition with a score of 130.20. the host Mustangs took second with a score of 93.50 and University High earned third at 30.10.
O'Brien won all four events while Polanski came in second in all events except floor. Consequently, O'Brien was the top all-arounder (34.15) and Polanski recorded a second-place showing (32.75).
Giurini (3rd/31.35), Tomas (4th/30.850) and Zoe Mazurkiewicz (6th/28.15) also scored well for RBHS.
At the aforementioned Downers Grove South Regional, the Bulldogs will compete against the host Mustangs, Downers Grove North, Homewood-Flossmoor and Lemont.
"I'm really excited for the regional meet," Polanski said. "We have the potential to do really well because we have scoring well lately.
O'Brien added, "We hope to make it to sectionals as a team. If not, then we definitely want to go as individuals preferably for all-around."