Oak Park and River Forest High School junior all-arounder Maya Lim had one of her best gymnastics meets at the IHSA Regional at Downers Grove South on Feb. 2.
The main reason was simple.
“Well, probably [balance] beam,” Lim said. “I wasn’t expecting to do that well on it so I was really surprised to get that high of a score (8.6). I’ve been struggling the last couple of meets with some falls, so I’m really glad that I stayed on.”
A great overall team beam night also boosted the Huskies as they scored a season-high 135.95 points to advance as a team to the Oswego Sectional on Feb. 7 after Wednesday Journal’s press time.
Besides advancing to the six-team sectionals for the fourth straight time, the Huskies also had all seven of their gymnasts advance individually on at least one event – Lim, senior Chloe Kratz, junior Caroline Raducha and sophomores Jane Walker, Violet Ruff, Eleanor Wolski and Gabby Morales — either automatically with top-five regional finishes or at-large. Kratz, Lim and Raducha have previously qualified for sectionals. There was no 2021 IHSA postseason due to COVID-19.
“We did 19 out of 20 routines. Beam was a key factor,” OPRF coach Kris Wright said. “Everyone stayed on their feet and did what they were supposed to.”
Lim and Kratz advanced individually in all five events and Walker in four.
While Lim tied for fifth on beam, Walker (8.4, 9th), Kratz (8.35, 10th) and Morales (8.325, 11th) advanced at-large.
All four all-arounders advanced – fifth-place Kratz (34.475) and at-large Lim (34.175, 6th), Walker (33.575, 8th) and Ruff (32.55, 11th).
Kratz usually has been competing three events but she became an all-arounder by adding beam. Kratz’s success included fourth on uneven parallel bars (8.425), her strongest event, and fifth on floor exercise (9.0).
“The biggest highlight was floor. I nailed the routine,” Kratz said. “I’m pretty excited [for sectionals] to see how the team does. Our sophomores haven’t been there. I’m excited to kind of bring them along and see how we all do.”
All five vaulters advanced – fifth-place Ruff (9.0) and at-large Lim (8.9, 6th), Raducha and Walker (both 8.85, tied for 7th) and Kratz (8.7, 9th).
Also advancing at large were Lim (7.95, 8th) and Walker (7.9, 9th) on uneven bars and Lim (8.725, 6th) and Wolski (8.5, 8th) on floor.
Top-five sectional finishers automatically qualify for state. At-large berths will be determined after the final sectional on Feb. 10.
To increase her potential uneven bars score, Wolski may upgrade her dismount from a layout to a double back flip she added for Senior Night.
“I took it out for conference and regionals to play it safe. We’ll see what happens,” Wolski said.