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Herion sparks Downers co-op to Huskie invite title

Feeding off the energy that a large competition offers, Genevieve Herion reached another level on Saturday afternoon in Naperville.

The Downers Grove co-op sophomore was inspired at the Naperville North Invitational, scoring a personal-best 37.175 to win the all-around while leading the Trostangs to the team title with 141.675 points.

Glenbard West was second with 139,575 and Hersey was third with 135,475 among the 11-team field.

“The energy we had today was good and coming off break we all were really hyping each other up and just really supporting each other,” Herion said. “I’m really proud of myself and the whole team. I think we all did a great job. And coming off winter break we’ve got a lot of new skills.”

Herion won vault (9.425) and beam (9.35). She was second on floor (9,375) and fourth on bars (9,025). Kate Snouffer took second on beam (9.25) and Emily Smetana was fourth on beam (8.9) and on vault (9.15) for the winners.

“Gen (Herion) had a great meet and really came out and hit all of her skills,” Trostang’s coach Kristyn Moavero said. “We tried some new skills on different events and different kids in the lineup. We’re still working out who we want to put in.”

Smetana (35.575), Snouffer (35.025) and Natalie Simpson (33.85) finished fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively, in the all-around for the Trostangs.

“We have a lot of depth so we’re trying to figure out how the lineup is going to be at the end of the season,” Moavero said. “And we haven’t competed in three weeks so it was getting some of the dust off a little bit and coming out and doing some skills.”

Hersey sophomore Sabrina Nemcek was certainly showing off some of her own skills, especially her latest, the Eberhard Gienger-inspired bar routine that netted a 9.525.

“I do a Gienger in my routine and do a bail to a toe circle,” she said. “So last year I didn’t have a release move so I’m proud that I got a release move and it’s very good. I was really happy that I was able to perform it really well today.”

Nemcek was second in the all-around (36.675), second on vault (9.4) and third on beam (9.2). Teammate Grace Johnson was second on bars (9,225).

“It was a great meet,” Nemcek said. “I just stayed calm and didn’t overwhelm myself and rush. You’ve got to just take your time and have fun when you’re doing it. Definitely.”

The Hilltoppers persevered to finish second behind Sammy Hopper (36,475) and Skylar Oh (35,875), who finished fourth and fifth in the all-around, and contributions from Leah Chapski, Mackenzie Mason, Autumn White and Grace Flint before she suffered an injury during her floor routine.

Hopper, who was third on vault (9.375) and fifth on bars (9.0), came out refocused and re-energized winning floor (9.45).

“I had a really good floor routine, but it wasn’t great leading up to it,” she said. “I feel like we all came back and worked hard. It was hard to focus but I knew what I had to do and I’ve done that floor routine all year. I’ve competed floor since I was a freshman and I think it was just going out and showing how much I can focus up when I need to.”

Oh took third on bars (9.2), fourth on floor (9.1) and fifth on vault (9.025).

Hinsdale Central took fourth with 133.2, Palatine was fifth with 128.225, while the host Huskies were sixth at 127.725.

Senior Abby Aldrich led Naperville North, taking eighth in the all-around (34.175).

“It went really well and I put in some new skills that I was nervous about, but I really gave it my all,” she said. “I’m happy with how they all went. And the team did really well. We had very few falls. We were just focused and more confident and we’re kind of getting comfortable now that it’s the second half of the season.”

Jolee Waddington led the Pirates, placing seventh in the all-around (35.0) and taking third on floor (9.15).

Among the top results for Valley co-op was a sixth-place finish from Lauren Cordero on floor (8,875). The Wildcats finished with 127.65 to take seventh. They’ll host their invite next Saturday.

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