Gymnastics

High school gymnastics: Prairie Ridge co-op officially earns at-large state berth

Wolves will defend state title next weekend at Palatine

John Konstantaras for Shaw Media
Prairie Ridge coach Lee Battaglia high-fives Maddy Kim after her vault during the Hersey Regional on Jan. 29 in Arlington Heights.
John Konstantaras for Shaw Media Prairie Ridge coach Lee Battaglia high-fives Maddy Kim after her vault during the Hersey Regional on Jan. 29 in Arlington Heights.

Prairie Ridge co-op received good news after Thursday’s Lake Park Girls Gymnastics Sectional that it qualified as a team and also had several at-large individual qualifiers for next week’s IHSA state meet in Palatine.

Wolves junior Maddy Kim, a state medalist on the uneven bars, had a nervous wait before learning she had qualified with one of the 12 at-large spots.

The two-day state meet begins Friday at Palatine. Prairie Ridge co-op is a three-time defending state team champion and scored 147.325 Wednesday, taking second to Maine South (147.425). That ended a six-year string of sectional titles for the Wolves, a co-op team that draws athletes from Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge.

Kim scored 9.475 in the bars finals last year to take fifth place. She scored 9.2 Wednesday and learned after the four sectionals were completed that she had an at-large berth.

Prairie Ridge co-op junior Ciara Ryan also qualified for the all-around with her 36.45, the second among at-large berths, giving the Wolves four all-around competitors (Ryan, Kim, Kira Karlblom and Clancy Raupp). Ryan qualified on vault and Katarina Schaffer qualified in floor exercise.

Karlblom qualified in vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Raupp qualified on balance beam and floor exercise. Kim qualified on vault and uneven bars. Ryan qualified on vault and Katarina Schaffer qualified in floor exercise.

Jacobs senior Molly Meehan, the area’s only individual qualifier, is returning to state in the vault. Meehan scored a 9.3 at Hoffman Estates and finished just out of the top five and an automatic spot. She tied for fourth among the at-large qualifiers, although the scoring was tight. All 12 at-large berths in the vault scored between 9.35 and 9.25.

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