Girls gymnastics team wins regional title


Alex Clark

The girls varsity gymnastics team poses with their regional award held up by senior Anna Becker and junior Ally Humbert. The entire team advanced to conference, taking place at Stevenson High School on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

On Feb. 1, 2023, the LHS varsity girls gymnastics team won their regional meet against the Glenbrook North Spartans, Deerfield Warriors, and Highland Park Giants. The meet was hosted by LHS in the west gym and gymnastics gym. 

The Wildcats scored 139.475 overall, giving them the win across all events. Glenbrook North took second at 137.125, Deerfield took third at 129.45 and Highland Park took 4th with a score of 119.175.

According to head coach Tiffany Owens, the win was significant for the team. “This was the first time we’ve gone to regionals in 14 years as a team,” said Owens, “so it was really, really exciting.”

Senior Anna Becker, who won last year’s state championship on the vault, came out on top as the first place gymnast with a score of 38 (out of 40 possible points). She performed in all four events: the vault, floor exercise, uneven parallel bars, and balance beam.

“I’m the most proud of my floor [performance] just because I’ve been working really hard on my double, and I’m also really proud of my vault because I put in a new skill,” said Becker. “That made me really excited when I landed it.”

Junior Ally Humbert also placed in the top five, with a third place finish. She also competed in all four events and scored a 35.575.

Humbert appreciates her team, even in times of nervousness.

“On beam I get really nervous,” said Humbert. “I have a lot of fun on all the other events but on beam I do get in my head a little, and I just try to breathe before I go. I’ll listen to music sometimes and I really appreciate how my teammates cheer me on.”

Coach Owens expressed that the meet really came down to their performances on the balance beam.

“We were in first place as a team coming into beam versus Glenbrook North who was on floor,” said Owens. “Typically floor outscores beam, but four out of our five athletes stuck their [landings] and not only did they stick them without falling, they nailed them. That really kind of clinched the win for us.”

It wasn’t easy for the team to get to this point though. Since gymnastics is such an intense sport, athletes are constantly battling injuries. 

“I know a lot of the kids have been battling illness and multiple injuries,” Owens said. “Most of them are working through daily pains, so to see them perform this well on such an important part of the season and push past all of that and just really be amazing tonight, speaks for itself on the determination of every kid on this team.”

“It’s always [about] pushing through your injuries and it’s really a mental game,” said Becker. “It’s really hard to go through mental blocks and to always push yourself, but I’m happy to do it with my team.”

Sectionals occur place next week, Feb. 8, 2023, at Stevenson High School against New Trier, Carmel, and Vernon Hills. If LHS qualifies, as a team or with individuals, the season will continue at the state tournament which will follow at Palatine on Feb. 17-18 2023.