Prairie Ridge advances to state finals

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One could argue that Monday’s Conant Sectional featured as many as four teams that could go to state this year, with last year’s state runner-up Prairie Ridge Co-op, perennial power Fremd and up-and-comers Barrington and Prospect all in the mix.

Prairie Ridge and Fremd didn’t disappoint as the Wolves slipped past the Vikings 148.535-147.675 to advance to next weekend’s state finals at Palatine.

Rachael Underwood was dominant for the Co-op, winning vault with a 9.75, bars with a 9.55 and beam with a 9.7 en route to taking home the all-around title with a 38.4.

“Overall we’re really happy with how we did,” Underwood said. “We had a couple mistakes here or there, but overall we pulled it together.”

Underwood and her teammates finished with a flourish, scoring a 38.1 on vault, easily the top score of the night.

“We knew it was going to be close today because all the teams here are really good,” Underwood said. “We’re thankful we were able to finish on vault and get the score we needed.”

Maddie Solka added a 36.55 and Kendall Rumford had a 36.5 for the Wolves.

Barrington’s Abby Hasanov took second in the all-around with a 37.45 and Elk Grove’s Amelia Rafferty was third with a 37.6. Rafferty also was crowned the floor exercise champion with a 9.6.

“I was just really happy and tried to put it all out there and really show off my landing and smile more, I guess,” Rafferty said. “I’ve been a lot more consistent in practice and I think it showed. I basically hit four-for-four.”

Fremd will wait now have to wait 72 hours to see if its score is good enough for an at-large berth. Coach Elise Ference is optimistic.

“We’re confident in the score,” she said. “There’s always work to be done. It wasn’t our best meet and it wasn’t our worst. They’re healthy and that’s all we can hope for.”

Barrington (143.675) and Prospect (142.925) both scored more than three points lower than they did in last week’s regionals, but are still alive for at-large qualifiers.

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