Lia Christiansen

Riverside-Brookfield High School freshman Lia Christiansen has quickly made the transition to high school girls gymnastics.

On Dec. 4, she received already her third score in the 9s in helping the Bulldogs score a season-high 127.65 points to finish 10th at Glenbard West’s Hilltopper Invitational.

“There’s a lot of good girls that are getting 9s so it’s really cool to see how close I am to them,” said Christiansen after her 9.0 on floor exercise earned 11th place in a powerful 12-team field. “We did really well today. I’m proud of it. I think a lot more people stuck (balance) beam and didn’t fall off so we did pretty good there.”  

Christiansen also was 13th in the all-around (33.75) and tied for 13th on vault (8.95). Senior Nora Ford tied for 15th on floor (8.85).

The invite was a significant score jump from the 123.60 total the Bulldogs tallied on Dec. 2 during their dual meet victory at Hinsdale South.

Christiansen won floor (9.3) and vault (9.0) en route to a first-place 33.90 all-around total.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs but I’ve scored pretty well and the team’s so fun,” Christiansen said. “My [Yurchenko tuck] vault has gotten really good and I’ve been landing them. I like floor the best.” 

Ford was third on vault (7.9), Sarah Lindenberg tied for fourth on vault (7.7) and was fifth on beam (7.0) and Leah Kowalski tied for fourth (8.6) on floor. 

At the season-opening Hornet Invitational on Nov. 24 at Hinsdale South, RBHS was sixth (122.95).

Christiansen and Ford earned individual medals with top-10 finishes.

Christiansen tied for fifth on vault (8.85), was seventh on floor (8.65) and tied for seventh in all-around (31.65).

Ford was 10th on beam (8.2) and Annabel Krueger tied for 14th (7.75). 

Holmes lands three top 10 finishes at Hinsdale South

Junior Annmarie Holmes made her high school gymnastics debut in 2019 at Hinsdale South’s Hornet Invitational. 

She left this season’s opening invite on Nov. 24 with a more accomplished feeling – and three top-10 individual medals.

“That made me really excited, especially since last time I was at the Hornet Invite freshman year, I didn’t place on anything,” Holmes said. “It showed my improvement and made me more confident.”

The Lions finished fifth (127.55) and continued progressing on Dec. 1 despite losing at Oak Park-River Forest 134.40 to 129.10 in the West Suburban Conference Silver dual opener. 

At Hinsdale South, Holmes was eighth on beam (8.3) and tied for ninth on floor (8.45) in taking sixth in all-around (32.30). Freshman Emmy Bertucci and sophomore Emily Tucker also earned medals. 

An individual sectional qualifier as a freshman, Holmes said switching gymnastics clubs to Action has helped her increase the difficulty of her routines this past year.  

“It’s really helped me gain more skills and now I feel a lot more confident in my routines,” Holmes said. “I think overall, all of the events, I’ve gained more confidence. Each meet I want to improve and add more skills.”

Bertucci made an impressive high school debut by finishing second on the uneven parallel bars (8.55). Tucker was eighth on floor (8.5) and 10th on uneven bars (7.85). 

Calli Avants and Tiana Bojic had team-high 8.6s on vault to tie for 15th.

At OPRF, Bertucci tied for first on beam (8.4). Holmes, Emma Cassidy and Gabi Sanchez tied for fifth with 7.9s.

On uneven bars, Tucker was third (8.0) and Bertucci and Calleigh McPartlin tied for fourth (7.9). Tucker also tied for third on floor (8.4) and Natalie Aubert was fifth (8.05). Bertucci (31.50) and Holmes (31.45) finished fourth and fifth in all-around.