Overall, it was a forgettable night for New Trier gymnastics, but it wasn’t without its memorable moments.
The Trevians fell short of their goal of state qualification Wednesday, Feb. 8, when their team score of 136.6 put them in fifth place in the potent Stevenson Sectional in Lincolnshire.
New Trier’s total was about four points fewer than the team’s regional-title-winning score (140.525) on Feb. 1, and fell behind sectional champ Vernon Hills (143.925) and runnerup Carmel (141.675). Lake Zurich (140.125) placed third and Libertyville (137.275) fourth.
“We needed a 142.3 (to qualify) and coming off regionals I thought maybe we could do it,” New Trier coach Jen Pistorius said, “because we had great practices and they looked really good. We just had some uncharacteristic falls, and beam is the make-it or break-it, and we didn’t make it.”
The Trevians recorded a collective score of 31.95 on beam, an average of just under 8 per gymnast.
New Trier looked to rebound in their final event of the night, the floor exercise, but could not make up the ground. Not doing the Trevs any favors, scoring totals were low across the board on floor with just two gymnasts scoring above a 9.0 — a stark contrast from other sectionals.
New Trier’s best rotation was on the uneven bars, where the Trevians totaled 35.5 points. Sophomore Clara Crossgrove anchored the scoring with a 9.375, good enough for third at the meet and an automatic state bid.
She said in the last two weeks her bars performance has improved — in part because she added a new trick in which she bails from one bar into a handstand on the other.
“I’m really excited. This is my first time going (to state),” Crossgrove said. “I’m so grateful. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it.”
Crossgrove’s bars score was backed by a 9.175 from senior Ryann Segall and an 8.75 by sophomore Sammy Mills.
Crossgrove had team-best scores on vault (9.1) and floor (8.8) as well and has a chance to advance to state as an at-large competitor in the events — as does Segall with her bars score. At-large selections will be announced after the final sectional on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Aside from their regional championship, the Trevians also won their conference tournament this season, giving them a share of the overall Central Suburban League South title.
Segall and Rebecca Herbst were New Trier’s only seniors to compete with the sectional group, which included sophomores Crossgrove, Mills and Taylor Kim and juniors Annabel Sturgis and Morgan Deger. Three other sophomores — Madeline Seiple, Briana Jackson and Angie Hersam — also competed on varsity this season.
“We had a great team with a lot of talent that worked hard in the offseason and got so much better,” Pistorius said. “Just the camaraderie of the team was great. … They all get along really well. They are wonderful kids together. The ones who are coming back, we are looking forward to working on a lot of stuff. We’ll be in the gym probably Monday and Friday to prepare for next year.”
Highland Park High School was also represented at the Stevenson Sectional. Giants freshman Maddyn Cohen earned an at-large bid for her regional vault performance.
Cohen had to long wait — she was the final competitor of the night — and scored an 8.35 to finish her first high school season.
Cohen was the anchor of a young Giants team, said coach Anthony Kopp. Highland Park’s varsity roster featured one senior and a slew of underclassmen.
Kopp said he is excited to see what new skills the young talent develops in the offseason.
“Gymnastics is a short season. It’s hard to develop new skills during the season,” he said. “We know we need those new skills for a higher score.”