Lia Christiansen

Riverside-Brookfield High School sophomore Lia Christiansen had plenty of time to prepare for her first girls gymnastics state meet on Feb. 17.

The Bulldogs’ first state qualifier since 2009 was the 35th of 66 entries on vault.

“I was a little bit nervous, but I think a little bit of nerves are good for competition,” Christiansen said. “I had a great warmup. I was just feeling so ready and tried my best.”

Christiansen scored a 9.45 on her pike Yurchenko to equal her season-high score and tie for 16th, just .10 points from a top-10 finish to advance to the event’s finals on Feb. 18. 

Like sectionals, when Christiansen qualified at-large with a 9.325, she had a powerful first of two attempts, but this time with several steps upon landing instead of falling. 

She then again landed her second attempt, taking just one step.

“In practice, I’ve really been trying to work on sticking it, so I wouldn’t get an extra tenth off for taking that step back, but it’s better than falling,” Christiansen said. “I was super happy to end the year off with a good, high score.”

LTHS girls gymnastics

Lyons Township High School freshman Carli Proctor had a great impression of what she hopes is just her first girls gymnastics state meet.

“I liked watching all of the other routines and seeing everyone from other schools and what their routines were,” said Proctor, who was 27th on floor exercise (8.8). “I think I did pretty good. I was just happy that I did it because it was my first high school state meet. It just motivates me to qualify for state again.” 

The Lions’ first state qualifier since 2018, Proctor advanced at-large with an 8.95 at sectionals after winning regionals with a personal-best 9.35. The Lions advanced to sectionals as a team for the first time since 2017.

Proctor was accompanied by freshman teammate Bella Wojtulewicz, who helped talk her to come out for the team after stopping club gymnastics in May.

“It felt different because I was the only one there competing from my school. It was still really fun,” Proctor said.