Brooke Morgan wants to end career with Barrington at state

SHARE Brooke Morgan wants to end career with Barrington at state

As the lone senior on the Barrington girls gymnastics team, Brooke Morgan is doing her part to ensure the squad makes its first trip to state in 10 years.

She helped Barrington get off to a great start in the state series on Feb. 3, as the Fillies won the Barrington Regional with 147.025 points. Barrington turned in another solid performance at the Conant Sectional Monday, placing third with a score of 143.67. Prairie Ridge won at 148.52, and at-large team bids to state will not be announced until all of the sectionals are completed.

“It can be a struggle sometimes because I feel senioritis trying to take over, so I have to keep pushing through,” Morgan said. “Getting to state is like the ultimate senior goal, so I’m definitely trying to finish up strong.”

In addition to battling through senior-year complacency, Morgan must assume the role of veteran leader. Even as a junior last winter, she was the oldest athlete on the team.

“She has some added pressure of keeping the kids in line and kind of corralling them,” Barrington coach Jason Loeffler said. “She’s making sure that the things that were instilled in the program from years past are being passed down, and sometimes that’s a hard job to do.”

Morgan is also making big contributions in the gym itself. She qualified for state on the vault with a 9.45 at the sectional. At regionals she took second on vault with a 9.525, seventh on beam with a 9.075 and eighth on floor with an 8.775.

“She’s not only a varsity athlete, but one of our top varsity kids,” Loeffler said.

Barrington collectively boasts some of the finest young talent in the state. A half dozen of its regular contributors are underclassmen, including freshman Hayley Nilles and Rachel Timperman and sophomores Abby Hasanov, Molly Blanke, Morgan Eisenhauer and Amanda Morgan, Brooke Morgan’s younger sister.

“It’s interesting because I took my sophomore year off and did club gymnastics to pay my dues,” Brooke Morgan said. “And then I joined junior year and was the oldest on the team and asked to be leader right off the bat. My sister was just coming in as a freshman and followed after me.”

Hasanov, the team’s star and one of the best scorers in the state, advanced to state as an individual last February. This year, her teammates want to join her.

“Last year was rough being alone, so we’re determined to hopefully get the team there this time,” Hasanov said. “[Brooke Morgan’s] helped us stay organized and been a good role model for all of us. We know this is her final chance, so we’d like to get there especially for her.”

Barrington won a state title in 2000 and took sixth in 2003.

“Like I told one of my assistant coaches [after the regional],” Loeffler said. “We need to do what we did here two more times.”

Morgan, who plans on studying business at Boston College, is hoping for a strong finish to her high school career.

“With it getting to be the end of the season and being a senior and college coming soon, it’s an exciting time,” Morgan said. “I’m enjoying it as much as I can.”

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