In a sport where physical and mental toughness is prized, Barrington sophomore — and newly crowned state champion — Abby Hasanov still stands out from the pack.
“They don’t get much tougher,” Barrington coach Jason Loeffler said of Hasanov, whose 9.5 on bars at Saturday’s state finals in Palatine earned her an individual championship (she tied with Lyons’ Michelle Cozza). “If I ask her to do three routines, she does five. She always wants to do more and never complains.”
Even when she has a 103-degree fever.
At last year’s state meet, she tried to compete in the finals despite spending time earlier that day receiving fluids in a hospital emergency room.
“You know how when someone is so sick they just look miserable; that was her but she was willing to try it,” Loeffler said. “She was so sick, though, that we ended up having to pull her away.”
No wonder then that Hasanov set a goal of enjoying every aspect of this year’s state tournament.
If Hasanov was disappointed with the way her freshman year ended, it would be hard to imagine a better start to her sophomore season. In a Dec. 11 meet against Conant, she recorded a 9.9 on floor exercises and vault. She scored 9.6s on balance beam and uneven bars.
“I wasn’t sure that it was really a 9.9 until I saw my teammates jumping around and screaming,” she said. “It was such a great moment. I was so happy and excited.”
Although her teammates have come to expect a lot from Hasanov, the two 9.9s still took them by surprise.
“That was a day to remember,” sophomore Molly Blanke said. “She had been working so hard all summer. I was so proud of her that I started crying.”
Hasanov went on to win the all-around at the Lake County Invitational and the Hoffman Estates Regional. She finished second at the Conant Sectional, which helped the Fillies qualify for state as a team.
Barrington finished fourth with a score of 144.7 as Lyons won at 151.275.
Hasanov said it meant more to her to compete at the state meet with her teammates as opposed to just as an individual. In fact, the team aspect is her favorite part of high school gymnastics.
“In club you’re competing as an individual,” she said. “I like high school more because you’re working with a team and practices are a lot more fun.”
This year’s team was particularly close.
“We had high goals and we kept a really positive attitude,” Blanke said. “We supported each and had a great time this season.”