Local gymnasts headed to nationals
Rachael Underwood accomplished something no competitor from Crystal Lake Gymnastics Training Center had ever done.
Underwood, a junior at Cary-Grove, won the Level 10 all-around title at the Junior Olympics Region 5 Championships over the weekend in Dimondale, Mich., with a score of 37.65. CLGTC owner and head coach Lee Battaglia said none of his athletes had won a Level 10 all-around regional title.
Underwood was one of four CLGTC gymnasts to qualify for national meets next month. Underwood will compete in the Junior Olympic National Championships on May 7 through 9 in Jackson, Miss.
Aubrie Purtell, a senior at Huntley, finished in the top 10 of Level 10 all-around competitors, which qualified her for the Junior Olympics NIT at the same time and place. Battaglia explained that the first seven all-around competitors qualify for nationals and the eighth through 10th gymnasts qualify for the NIT.
CLGTC gymnasts Maddie Solka and Kelsey Boos finished 1-2 in Level 9 all-around to advance to the Level 9 Eastern Championships on May 2 through 4 in Bradenton, Fla.
Solka, a sophomore at C-G, won with a 37.525. Boos, a sophomore at Huntley, scored 37.425.
Underwood has been one of the top gymnasts in the IHSA State Meet, competing for Prairie Ridge’s co-op team, the past three years. At the Region 5 meet, she won floor exercise, was second in vault and sixth on balance beam and parallel bars.
Solka, who also competes for Prairie Ridge, helped the Wolves to second place as a team in state this high school season. At the Region 5 meet, she won the floor exercise, took seconds in vault and bars and was eighth on beam.
Boos won the balance beam and finished in the top six of the other three events.
“It was a real good year,” Battaglia said.
Vladimir Gogoladze, Lisa Rumford and Ben Hardy are assistant coaches with CLGTC.