Oak Park and River Forest High School junior Violet Ruff nearly qualified for the 2022 girls gymnastics state meet on vault.
“I want to really focus on vault [this season],” Ruff said. “I want to really perfect my vault so I can make it [to state].”
On her first competitive vault of the season Dec. 10, Ruff showed why she’s among the Huskies’ many sectional and state hopefuls.
Ruff solidly landed her tuck Yurchenko for a fourth-place 9.3 at the Hinsdale Central Invitational.
“I think that’s the highest [score] I’ve gotten in high school with that vault,” Ruff said. “I was really nervous but then I just kind of pulled it out and landed it.”
OPRF (132.225 points) finished fifth as a team in their second meet with a regular-scoring format.
Senior Maya Lim finished sixth on floor exercise (8.725) as the Huskies competed with five all-arounders – Lim (34.125, 11th), Ruff (33.55, 12th), senior Caroline Raducha (32.55, tied for 14th), freshman Maisie Hoerster (31.50, 19th), and junior Gabby Morales (31.30, 20th).
The Huskies improved upon their 128.85 to 125.60 victory at Lyons Township on Dec. 7. Ruff missed that meet and junior all-arounder Grace Walker was absent at Hinsdale. Junior Eleanor Wolski remains sidelined by an ankle injury.
“Once we get them all together for a meet, that would be interesting,” OPRF coach Kris Wright said. “We’re getting cleaner, connecting [skills], staying on our equipment better. I’m happy where we’re at right now. As the season goes on, we keep getting better. That’s the goal.”
At the 2022 Oswego Sectional, Ruff’s 9.0 vault tied for seventh, only .15 points from advancing to state automatically with a top-five sectional finish. The at-large state cut was 9.225.
Much to Wright’s delight, Ruff wants to upgrade her vault to a pike Yurchenko, which has a higher scoring potential.
“I’ve worked on them in the past, like last year. But I will resume,” Ruff said.
Lim has strong postseason chances on floor, where she was especially pleased with her first tumbling pass, vault and all-around at Hinsdale Central.
“I think [state is] doable,” Lim said. “We have a lot of freshmen, new people who have never done high school gymnastics before. Together I feel like we have a chance at making it, even past sectionals.”
Lim tied for 11th on vault (8.95) and also had the Huskies’ highest scores on uneven parallel bars (8.15, 13th) and balance beam (8.3, 17th).
At LTHS, Lim won vault (8.8) and beam (8.4) with a second-place 32.70 all-around.
“I just tried to do my normal routine [on uneven bars at Hinsdale] and I ended up getting a decent score,” Lim said. “[On beam] normally I kind of wobble a little bit or fall, but today I was just solid.”
Other top-15 finishers at Hinsdale Central were Raducha on vault (8.8, 13th) and Ruff, who shared 14th on uneven bars (8.1) and 15th on floor (8.3). At LTHS, Raducha (8.3 on beam) and Morales (8.7 on vault) were second.