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Pulling together : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Pulling together
Gymnasts come together to finish in Kennedy's absence

by Kristin Sharp


The Independent Conference Meet was a bittersweet day for the host Oswego co-op squad as it finished second overall with a season-high score but not before losing one gymnast to a season-ending injury.

With snow expected to settle into the area on Saturday and teams traveling from as far as Riverside and DeKalb, Saturday's noon start brought plenty of unknowns heading into the weekend. The weather was more cooperative than expected, and five teams met at Oswego High School for the final invite of the regular season.

Oswego scored a 135.90 to finish second behind the DeKalb/Sycamore co-op team, which won with a 140.40. Glenbard South (122.35), Riverside-Brookfield (120.95) and Fenton (120.725) rounded out the team standings.

The weather was not the worst to happen on the day, as Oswego East sophomore Mackenzie Kennedy broke her leg while competing on the floor exercise - the final event of the day. She was the first of five competitors on the event for Oswego.

Kennedy is the second Oswego gymnast to break her leg on the floor exercise this season after junior Emily Flammersfeld did the same on Dec. 28 at the Oswego Invite.

"It was just one thing after another, from not knowing if we were even going to have conference with the weather and just a lot of different things going in preparation," Oswego co-op head coach Sarah Dugan said. "That was not a fun way to end it. It was pretty traumatic, and very hard on the girls. We had to wait for the ambulance to come and everything, but the girls pulled together and got through it.

"It was tough, but they really finished strong because they know that Mackenzie is such a hard worker and really wants the team to do well. We were really excited for (Kennedy) because she had such a nice score on vault and we were hoping to use her for regionals."

Oswego opened the day on the vault, and sophomore Jordyn Anderson led the team with a 9.25, which was good enough for fifth place overall. Kennedy scored a 9.05 to place fifth, while senior Hayley Priebe (8.9) and sophomore Alexia Stamas (8.85) completed the team score.

"We had a great day on fault. Jordyn landed both of her vaults, and that's the first time she's done that all season. We were really excited about that," Dugan said. "They did some things we expected them to do this season and they got some nice scores out of it."

Junior Alayna Dieter placed fourth on the uneven bars with a score of 8.35, while Stamas (8.05), Priebe (8.05 and senior Hannah Mae Arney (7.9) completed the team score.

On the balance beam, Dieter and junior Megan Dobbertin tied for fourth place with scores of 8.65. Junior Auguste Fahrlander scored a 7.75 and Stamas scored a 7.6 for Oswego. Closing out the afternoon on the floor exercise, Stamas placed third with a 9.0, Dobbertin scored an 8.8 to take fourth and Dieter scored an 8.6 to place sixth while Fahrlander scored an 8.45 in eighth place.

"Going into this postseason, we are just looking for a couple of 8's (on bars). We're just keeping bars clean and keeping the other events strong. Bars is a tough event to score well on," Dugan said. "The girls had good scores on beam too."

Oswego was scheduled to enter the Naperville North Regional on Wednesday, but results were unavailable at press time. Sectional qualifiers will travel to Hinsdale Central next Wednesday. Oswego will compete for a regional title with Waubonsie Valley, Hinsdale South and host Naperville North.

"We're ready to finish strong and keep pushing through," Dugan said.

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