HOFFMAN ESTATES – Prairie Ridge's girls gymnastics team was far from satisfied with its performance Thursday.
The Wolves also were far from concerned about a few mistakes.
“We definitely had a lot of errors and could have done better,” said freshman Maddie Solka, who won the uneven bars at 9.325. “But that's going to motivate us. There are definitely places where we can improve.”
Prairie Ridge had falls on the balance beam and uneven bars, yet still scored 147.175 to win the IHSA Conant Regional Thursday night and will advance to Monday's Fremd Sectional. The Wolves, who scored a school-record 150 on Jan. 5 at the Lake Forest Invitational, are considered a threat for a state team title.
“It was not a very good meet, but if we're going to have an off meet, this is the meet to be off,” Prairie Ridge coach Lee Battaglia said. “We need to focus a little more. They can do these routines, we don't have to take anything out. We had a lot of mistakes, but I'm not worried about them. They've very good kids, you'll see a better performance at Fremd.”
The Wolves' Rachael Underwood (37.6) won the all-around, followed by teammate Riley Mahoney (37.225). Prairie Ridge's Jada Berkland (36.05) tied for fourth. Underwood and Mahoney, who were third and sixth in all-around at last year's IHSA Girls Gymnastics State Meet, both fell on the bars, the Wolves' first event.
Prairie Ridge is a co-op team that takes athletes from the four District 155 schools – Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge.
Underwood came back and won floor exercise (9.5) and Mahoney won the balance beam (9.425).
“We'll work hard these next three days and tweak some things to make sure we're confident in what we do,” said Berkland, a sophomore. “We tried to stick together. It was not our best meet, but we did a good job of coming back after a rough start.”
Top-five finishers automatically advance to the sectional meets. Then, the top 12 scores from the four regionals receive at-large bids. Underwood and Mahoney made it in all four events and all-around.
Prairie Ridge's Dylann Perrone (9.35) qualified in the vault and Berkland qualified on balance beam.