Evanston, Emily Varua open gymnastics season with win over Niles North

SKOKIE — Evanston junior gymnast Emily Varua won the all-around with 32.350 points, helping her team to a 122.950-119.800 victory over Niles North in Tuesday night’s season-opening CSL crossover meet.

Varua was tops on parallel bars (8.00), second on vault (8.35) and floor exercise (8.30) and fourth on balance beam (7.70).

Wildkits junior Lucy Bowser was the team’s other event winner, finishing first on vault (8.90). Evanston sophomore Andrea Glaser was second on bars (7.85) and third on floor (8.00), while junior Claire Gruger came in third on bars (7.20).

“It was a good start,” Evanston coach Chester Jones said. “[Now], we know what to go back to, and we can start picking up the pieces and putting them together. Last year, we hit [a score of] 120, and we stayed around there. We don’t want to do that this year. We want to go up.”

The evening was all about debuts for Niles North. New coach Jacqueline Parat took charge of the team in a meet for the first time.

Meanwhile, freshman twins Kaylie and Kyra VanDoren showed they have something to offer the Vikings program immediately.

Kaylie VanDoren won the beam (8.10) and floor exercise (8.40) and was second in the all-around (31.850) and on vault (8.25). Kyra VanDoren was second on beam (8.00) and third in the all-around (30.700). Niles North senior Nicole Hawel earned her team’s other top-three finish, coming in third on beam (7.75).

“As a new coach, my goal for them was to hit a 115, and we hit a 119,” Parat said. “I think beam is our strongest event as far as the girls really fighting for their skills. Beam came after [a shaky performance on floor]. I was really proud how they were able to come back together and hit a solid beam routine.”

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