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Scout Girl Gymnasts Ready for State Meet

Posting state’s third highest sectional score, Lake Forest hopes to climb higher this weekend.

are poised to achieve one of the goals they set when the season opened, and stand at the precipice of making history when the State Finals open at 5 p.m. Friday and continue at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Palatine.

The Scouts, who hope to finish among the top five teams, compiled thelast week behind defending State champion Carmel (151.6) and North Suburban Conference rival Stevenson (148.925). 

Lurking behind Lake Forest are Schaumburg (147.4), Fremd (146.575) and Hinsdale Central (146.475). Eight teams are competing along with individual qualifiers in each event from numerous schools. 

Coach Robin Straus does not discount her team’s chances to eclipse the 26-year-old record. In her 33rd year, she coached that team as well.

 “If everybody hits we probably have a shot,” Straus said of the Scouts' chances to produce the best finish in Lake Forest history. “We’ve gone above 149 this year.” 

Straus began the week-long preparation by sending the team to dinner and a college gymnastics meet Friday at Navy Pier. She wanted her charges to deepen their already strong bond and dissect their elders’ performance. 

“They wrote down what they saw and talked about it,” said Straus. “They talked about what they could add to their routines and what they should avoid.” 

Straus emphasizes every team and individual will compete with a “clean slate” and competition at the finals, not past performances, will determine the winners. 

“I would love for us to have a good meet above 148,” said Straus. “We’re trying to clean up our routines. We’re adding difficulty.” Straus said.

The eight qualifying teams compete Friday in vault, floor exercise, balance beam, and uneven parallel bars along with the top 32 individual qualifiers around the state. Many of the individuals are members of the eight teams. 

The all-around champion will be crowned Friday based on scores earned in the four individual events. , who finished seventh overall a year ago as well as second on the floor, is one of the Scouts' participating in the opening day individual event. is the other. 

The top 10 finishers in Friday’s individual events compete for the state championship Saturday. 

Carlson will also participate in vault, floor exercise and uneven parallel bars. McKeon will join Carlson on the uneven parallel bars and try for individual honors on the balance beam. also vies for titles in vault and floor. hopes for a medal on balance beam. 

“Each of them (the individual qualifiers) has an opportunity to get to the top 10. Anything can happen,” Straus said. 

Carlson’s floor routine is as difficult as any in the state, according to Straus. Carlson, McKeon and Foster registered within the top 10 sectional scores in their top individual events. 

“Kat (McKeon) has been extremely steady for us all season on bars,” said Straus. Foster’s sectional performance put her only 1.75 points away from the top. 

Brittany Moccia and Katie Maier make up the rest of the team for Friday’s competition. 

“I know we have a top five team, but I would like it to be a trophy (we take home),” said Straus. The top three teams win hardware. 

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