Delaney Nelson- R5 Insider Illinois Contributor
A superhero theme was fitting for the day, as gymnasts flied high and put it all on the floor. Although the camera was able to capture some great gymnastics, what’s not on film is the admirable support that each competitor gave to one another. Each squad became a team, even if they didn’t come from the same gym. The encouragement and respect that each gymnast and coach showed to one another was amazing to see, something that does not come as a surprise here in Region 5. Whether it be cheering a competitor on, wearing teal ribbons to support a teammate, or simply dancing to a friend’s floor routine, these gymnasts show us that teamwork really does make the dream work. IGI had an especially impressive fan section throughout each session, including signs that read “IGI Strong” and “Stronger Together.”
Based on this competition, R5 has a lot to look forward to in the coming championships. Especially impressive was Skyla Schulte’s (Phenom) all around performance, a rocking 9.95 vault from Aspire’s Sierra Brooks, and 11-year-old Rhyley Pitts’ (World Class Gymnastics) double back dismount off beam. Legacy Elite’s Andrea Li was the class of the meet winning her 3rd State AA title in a row and posting a career high 39.225. Seniors Wesley Stephenson (Legacy Elite), Nikki Baars (Crystal Lake) and Bridget Killian (Legacy Elite) each had a solid all around performance, all completing a bittersweet last JO Illinois state meet. Although this may have been a one of many lasts, the seasons is not over yet for our R5 seniors, from whom we can look forward to regional and national routines. Some other names to look out for at regionals: Faith Torrez (Legacy Elite), Madison Snook (Legacy Elite), Hannah Oliveros (IGI), JerQuavia Henderson (Gym Corner), Payton Murphy (Palmer’s) Haley Tyson (Phenom) and Sydney Jelen (Legacy Elite) all with impressive performances at the Illinois State Meet. These gymnasts (and more) exhibited confidence on the competition floor, truly giving it their all and letting all the countless hours of their hard work show off in hard-hitting routines.
Full competition results click here
State AA Champion Interviews