LT Sports Roundup: Freshman Kurfirst Wins State Title on Uneven Bars [VIDEO]
Lyons Township freshman Kelsy Kurfirst shared the state title on the uneven parallel bars at the girls gymnastics state finals to become just the third individual champion in program history while the Lions finished sixth as a team.
Lyons Township freshman Kelsy Kurfirst shared the state championship on the uneven parallel bars at the girls gymnastics state meet event finals Saturday at Palatine High School.
Kurfirst’s 9.6 tied for first place with Glenbard North senior Amanda Quinn among the 11 finalists who had advanced by being among the top 10 scores in Friday’s preliminaries. Kurfirst scored a 9.625 for the second-highest advancing score.
Kurfirst joins 1985 graduate Janne Klepek and 2009 graduate Emily Urben as LT’s only individual state champions in the sport. Klepek won or shared a combined 12 state titles, including three uneven bars titles from 1982-84, and earned 19 out of a possible 20 all-state individual medals for top-five finishes. Urben was the state balance beam champion in 2009.
In the team competition, the Lions finished sixth with a season-high 144.775 points. This was LT’s fifth appearance in six seasons in the eight-team state format after a one-year absence.
Kurfirst competed second in the uneven bars finals as determined by a
random draw. Quinn, who finished eighth on the event last year,
Fremd freshman Sydney Plichta and Carmel senior Kristin Mirski tied for third (9.5), and Lake Forest junior Kylie Carlson and Stevenson senior Ali Castriano (9.45) tied for fifth. DeKalb/Sycamore co-op senior Alyssa Lopez, who won Friday’s all-around competition, had the highest preliminary score (9.7) but suffered a fall Saturday and was 11th (8.4).
Quinn and Vernon Hills junior Alli Tran, who finished seventh (9.425), were the only returnees from the 2011 uneven bars finals, although Mirski and Castriano had previous state finals experience in the event. Six finalists were underclassmen.
Kurfirst also reached the state finals on vault and tied for eighth (9.65), .075 shy of an all-state, top-five finish, after her 9.675 shared the seventh-highest advancing score.
Kurfirst also qualified for state in the other three events, tying for 11th on balance beam (9.175) and finishing 28th on floor (8.9) en route to ninth place in all-around (37.375), just .55 from fifth place. Her beam score missed the finals cut by only .025.
LT seniors Ali Stuck and Kalen Iffert, junior Maren Craig and freshman Kelly Ryser also competed at state for the first time in the team competition.
The Lions finished just .025 behind fifth-place Lake Forest by eclipsing their previous season-high of 144.35 that won the LT Regional. LT automatically earned one of the eight state team berths by winning the Hinsdale Central Sectional with 144.05, the lowest sectional score among the qualifiers.
Craig (36.20), Ryser (34.75), Stuck (career-best 34.70) and Iffert (34.075) joined Kurfirst in the Lions’ usual five all-arounder lineup Friday. Score highlights included personal-bests by Stuck on vault (9.325) and Craig (9.05) and Iffert (8.6) on uneven bars as well as 9s by Ryser on floor (9.1), Craig on beam (9.0) and Craig (9.175) and Iffert (9.125) on vault. The Lions had the fifth-highest team scores on vault (37.30) and uneven bars (36.075).
Carmel (151.775) won its third consecutive state title, followed by Stevenson (149.175), Prairie Ridge co-op (148.175), Fremd (146.65), Lake Forest (144.50), the Lions, Glenbard North (143.55) and New Trier (141.775).