Winnetka, Sports

Trevians junior lands 3rd-place bars routine at state; Team takes 7th

Strange what a little belief can do.

For Clara Crossgrove on Saturday, it put her in a position of disbelief.

“It was probably one of the most surreal things. I genuinely didn’t think I’d make it that far,” said Crossgrove, who said a more confident performance led to her third-place finish on the uneven bars at the IHSA championships on Saturday, Feb. 17, in Palatine. “It was definitely a goal to hopefully place on the second day, but I didn’t have any expectations. There’s a photo of me in absolute shock after I accomplished that.” 

Junior Sabrina Nemcek, of Hersey, claimed first on bars (9.675), while Annika Chudy, of Vernon Hills, was second (9.525). Crossgrove tied with Jolee Waddington, of Palatine, for third (9.45).

Crossgrove advanced to the final round thanks to a score of 9.25 on Friday, Feb. 16, good enough for eighth best headed into Saturday.

She was the 10th and final gymnast to perform in the championship round, so when she saw her score of 9.45, Crossgrove knew right where she fit in — and it was on the medal stand. She is the first Trevian to medal in six seasons, since multiple Trevs accomplished the feat in 2017 (no state meet in 2021).

Clara Crossgrove performs on the final day of the state championships in Palatine.

The junior, who also competed in the IHSA championships as a sophomore, credited her coaches and teammates, especially fellow junior Sammy Mills, for giving her the confidence boost she needed heading into the third-place routine.

“I have had a problem with being confident in my ability,” Crossgrove said. “A lot of time I’ll rush the routine and it won’t be as good as if I were calm. … (Friday’s) definitely wasn’t one of my better ones. I was so nervous, a lot of rushing. It was different on Saturday. I had a little more confidence even though the stakes were higher.”

Though Crossgrove had competed at state before, she said to do so with her teammates this season was “so much better.”

For the first time since 2020, the Trevians advanced as a team to state. With a score of 141.975 and runnerup finish at the Glenbrook South Sectional on Feb. 7, New Trier won one of four at-large spots in the IHSA meet.

The Trevians, who advanced to the meet as a team, rally up before the state finals begin Saturday.

New Trier scored a 140.35 at state to place seventh. The Trevians score included a 35.675 on bars and 36.275 on floor, both of which were fourth best among the eight-team field. But New Trier’s score was pulled down by its 32.3 on balance beam and 36.1 on vault — neither landing in the top five.

Hersey won the meet with a score of 146.25, coming in ahead of 2023 champ Downers Grove South (145.4). Wheaton-Warrenville South (144.875), Lake Park (144.275) and Vernon Hills (143.825) rounded out the top five.

Crossgrove also placed 25th on beam and 14th on floor. Senior Annabel Sturgis was 21st on bars, and Mills was 17th on floor.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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