Senior Annmarie Holmes knew the score the Lyons Township High School girls gymnastics team needed to beat at the IHSA Regional at home on Feb. 2 in order to advance to the Hinsdale South Sectional.
After the Lions heard their third-place season high of 135.30 points to earn that sectional berth, even Holmes was in disbelief.
“When they said our score at first, we all looked at each other because we’re like, ‘A 135? Did you hear 135?’” Holmes said.
The Lions continued their incredible postseason ride with that first sectional team berth since 2017 and by improving upon their previous season best of 134.15 at the West Suburban Conference Silver Meet on Jan. 28 despite tighter judging.
Another surprise? Freshman Carli Proctor won floor exercise with 9.35 – a season best by 0.15 – after nearly not competing on the event because of an injured right ankle.
“I was kind of just 50-50 so I was just really shocked when I got that score,” Proctor said.
All six Lions also earned individual berths to sectionals Feb. 7 automatically with top-five regional finishes or at-large – Holmes, juniors Emily Tucker and Elle Rockrohr, sophomores Emmy Bertucci and Dahlia Highland and Proctor.
The Lions finished just .1 behind second-place Andrew/Sandburg/Stagg co-op and earned the second at-large sectional team berth by outscoring rival Hinsdale Central.
“We keep going better and still with points missing we’re still scoring higher each meet,” LTHS coach Brittany Milovanovic said. “I’m just so happy and we still can go up from here. It’s the new beginning of the end.”
Tucker (8.75) was second on uneven parallel bars, Holmes was fourth on floor (9.2) and tied for fourth on balance beam (8.6) and Tucker (34.00), Holmes (33.825) and Bertucci (33.40) were third, fourth and fifth in all-around.
Advancing at-large were Tucker (8.95), Bertucci (8.825) and Rockrohr (8.75) on floor exercise, Bertucci (8.2) and Highland (8.05) on beam, Bertucci on uneven bars (8.175) and Proctor (33.05) in all-around.
Holmes is making her third sectional trip and Tucker and Bertucci their second. There was no 2021 state series because of COVID restrictions.
In the second half of the regional, the Lions had no falls off balance beam for the first time this season (32.80) and then had five sectional-qualifying routines on floor (36.325).
“I’m so excited to have everyone there and competing [at sectionals] because it makes the meet that much more fun to have your team with you,” Holmes said.
About the only disappointment came when the team rushed to the LTHS main building across the street to share the qualifying news with Highland. Right after her routines, Highland left to play clarinet for a school band performance.
“The conductor came up to us and said, ‘She’s on the stage. But in 15 or 20 minutes [you can tell her],’” Holmes said.