Riverside-Brookfield High School freshman gymnast Lia Christiansen was elated when she received her first 9.0 score on an event Dec. 4.
In what might have been her final meet this season on Feb. 7 at the IHSA Oswego Sectional, Christiansen earned two – a 9.0 on vault and 9.05 on floor exercise after one of the best performances of her usually strongest event.
“My floor routine felt so good. I hit it well. I was happy. I showed it off. I had fun,” Christiansen said.
While no area gymnasts earned top-five sectional finishers to automatically qualify for next week’s state meet, there’s still a chance some could advance at-large.
Christiansen and Lyons Township High School junior Annmarie Holmes have the best chance after tying for sixth on floor (9.05), but the at-large state cut has been higher nine for the last 10 times.
If not, there’s next season for both.
“It’s making me really excited to even improve more and possibly make it to state next year with more solid routines,” Holmes said.
Primarily because there was no 2021 IHSA postseason, Holmes and RBHS senior Nora Ford were the lone area gymnasts with previous sectional experience.
Christiansen was 11th in all-around (34.05) and tied for 12th on uneven bars (8.4). Her 9.0 vault did not place because was not a sectional qualifier on the event.
RBHS sophomore Annabel Krueger was 30th on beam (7.25) and 31st in all-around (30.175). In her second sectional, Ford was 33rd on vault (7.85).
“My beam has always been my best event and I love to show it off,” Krueger said.
Holmes, who was 14th in all-around (33.275), had reason for excitement on vault, a non-qualifying event. Holmes landed her tuck Yurchenko for the first time in a meet for a 9.05.
“I’ve been landing them at practice but then the nerves of the competition, they’ve just been feeling different,” Holmes said.
Also representing LTHS were freshman Emmy Bertucci (tied for 22nd, 8.05) and sophomore Emily Tucker (33rd, 7.25) on uneven bars, sophomore Gabi Sanchez on vault (tied for 26th, 8.425) and senior Ellie Dillon on floor (32nd, 8.125).
Bertucci won regionals (8.7) and overcame a late-season foot injury that limited the all-arounder to uneven bars and beam.
“This was a goal from the very beginning, to at least make it to this,” Bertucci said. “I’m very motivated. I really think I can fix a lot of my skills.”
Tucker excelled on her one postseason event after missing the conference meet when she sprained her ankle during warmups.
Dillon was the first floor performer Monday.
“I had so much fun. I loved it. It was a great way to end senior year,” Dillon said.
Nazareth Academy sophomore M.J. Drabik was 26th in all-around (31.40), tied for 30th on uneven bars (7.45) and was 32nd on beam (7.15). Drabik and Nazareth senior Bella Brunke have competed together as individual entries the past two seasons at many of RBHS’ nonconference duals and invites.
“I’m definitely going to do this next year. I’m going to try and get someone else to join me,” Drabik said.