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Gymnastics: All-around champ Sadie Karlson, Geneva continue banner season with Neuqua Valley Invite title

After years of thinking about joining the gymnastics team at Geneva, Sadie Karlson finally became a Viking this season.

The senior and her teammates are thrilled with the decision. Karlson won three events and the all-around title to lead Geneva to its third invite win of the season Jan. 14 with a season-high 144.55 points at Neuqua Valley.

Lake Park was second with 142.65 and Lincoln-Way co-op was third with 140.75.

“I said I was going to try out every single year of high school and then I didn’t end up going out until senior year because it didn’t work out,” Karlson said. “I’m really glad that I decided to because it’s been like the best. I’m having more fun with gymnastics than I ever have.”

And gymnastics hasn’t been this strong in Geneva since the Vikings took second in the state in 2015.

“I think we did really well today,” Geneva junior Brooke Lussnig said. “Obviously, there are some areas where we can improve still, so I feel like we can still get a higher score.”

Lussnig took fourth in the all-around with a 35.65 and freshman Reese Lackey was fifth with a 35.4. Lussnig was fourth on beam with a 9.05 and fifth on bars with a 9.15. Lackey was third on floor with a 9.25. Geneva got a 9.4 from Karlson for first and a 9.35 from junior Graci Weems for second on floor. Weems was third on beam with a 9.1.

“It’s been super fun,” Lackey said. “We have a great team and everyone is super positive. Sure it’s different, but we have an amazing team so it’s fun to compete.”

On Jan. 14, it didn’t get much more fun on floor with Karlson, Weems and Lackey finishing in the top three places.

“Floor is super fun because we all come together and show all of our personalities,” Lackey said. “I love competing with all of them.”

In addition to winning floor, Karlson won beam with a 9.4 and bars with a 9.5. She edged Lake Park junior Julia Bartnik, 37.6 to 37.5, for the all-around title during the 1960s/tie-dye-themed invite.

“I think it was a pretty good meet and all of us get better at something at every meet,” Karlson said. “I think it’s all going to click at the end of the season and I’m looking forward to seeing how we do toward postseason. High school is way more fun and way more easygoing. Club is way more individual, so this is way more enjoyable to compete as a team and then win as a team, too.”

It was quite a week for Karlson and fellow seniors Maura Anderson and Jenna Kierczynski. The Vikings celebrated Senior Night on Jan. 11 with a win over Glenbard North.

“It’s been a fun year and I’ve always said to them to do high school because it’s so much fun and the team aspect is different from anything you’ve been used to,” Anderson said. “I’d been at Senior Night every single year [I’ve been on the team], so it was definitely fun to be on that other side and kind of go out and do our best in our last time in the gym after so many meets. It definitely was cool.”

Geneva now sets its sights on a trip to state and the opportunity to compete for a state trophy.

“We’ve been working super hard the last few weeks and we’ve got a few new skills in there,” Geneva coach Kim Hostman said. “Everything is coming together. We still had a few mistakes on beam and bars, but I am so happy with the girls.”

Batavia finished in fifth place with 132.75.

Talia Gallas was ninth in the all-around for the Bulldogs with a 34.5 and fellow senior Grace Cooper was 11th with a 33.3. Gallas tied Valley co-op sophomore Lucia Caruso for seventh place on floor with a 9.05.

Freshman Wynne Tien was ninth on bars for the Bulldogs with an 8.75.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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