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Girls gymnastics: Geneva wins Illinois Best Invite

Updated: December 15, 2012 10:52PM

Wheaton Warrenville co-op was looking for its first Illinois Best championship since 2005 while Geneva was looking for its first.

The Vikings made program history, nipping the hosts, 70.175 to 70.125 to win the nine-team invite on Saturday afternoon at Wheaton Warrenville South.

“We’ve been here at least six or seven years now and our goal coming in was to win it today,” Geneva coach Kim Hostman said. “They did a real good job. They were real consistent throughout.”

The format of the Illinois Best calls for each team to have a single all-arounder and four additional gymnasts competing in a single event each. There’s no room for error as every single score counts toward the team total.

Senior Ashley Puff scored a 35.175 in the all-around for the Vikings. Sophomore Megan Beitzel delivered a significant 9.175 on floor, which was the second-highest score on the event, and Dominique Brognia had a 9.175 on floor.

Defending champs, Oswego co-op, settled for third place with a 68.65. Kathryn Mahen posted a 34.45 in the all-around while Emily Flammersfeld’s 8.875 on floor and Michelle Munzo’s 8.45 on beam both were worthy of fifth place.

“They call it the Illinois Best for a reason and I couldn’t be more proud today,” Oswego co-op coach Sarah Dugan said. “I think it takes some pressure off a team of five. The girls focus on their event and overall they seem to enjoy this.”

Batavia took fourth place with a 63.375 behind Lauren Stangl’s 32.975 in the all-around.

Waubonsie Valley/Metea Valley co-op placed fifth with a 62.250. The team likely would have used senior Jess Malon as its all-arounder but Malon sustained an injury last week and is likely out until last January.

Alexa Puccio took upon the all-around role and scored a 31.3. She had the team’s highest score on three events, while teammate Michaela Valatkas had a 7.8 on beam to lead the team.

“We’re struggling with injuries so it’s been a rough season,” Waubonsie Valley/Metea Valley co-op coach Nicole Daly said. “We only have two healthy varsity girls right now.”

St. Edward’s Abby Madden had the top score on every event, except for beam, and finished with a 37.4 in the all-around.

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