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LT girls gymnastics repeats as state champion

Published: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 9:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 4:10 p.m. CDT
(Dan Santaromita -
The Lyons Township girls gymnastics team poses for photos with the state championship trophy. The Lions won a second straight title. From left to right Cat Mossing, Olivia McGann, Mackenzie Stotz, Kelly Ryser, Michelle Cozza, Katie Carling, Kelsy Kurfirst and Jackie Fuller.

PALATINE – No dramatics this time.

The Lyons Township girls gymnastics team repeated as state champions Saturday at Palatine High School, and did so comfortably.

After last year's comeback during the event finals, the Lions had the title locked up entering Saturday and then added some individual awards on top. LT finished with a team score of 151.275, nearly three points ahead of runner-up Prairie Ridge co-op, and won 11 individual medals.

"It's so exciting," junior Kelsy Kurfirst said. "I'm happy we came here again and did what we needed to do. It all just came together."

Katie Carling and Kurfirst each picked up four medals. Carling, a senior, was second in the all-around, balance beam and floor exercise and tied for fifth on uneven bars. Kurfirst, a junior, defended her state title on floor exercise and was third in the all-around, vault and balance beam.

"I just remember coming here and watching my sister compete and thinking how much I wanted to be on that podium one day so it was kind of surreal to me," Carling said.

MIchelle Cozza won a state title on bars, tying for first with a 9.5. Cozza, a senior, was also second on vault and coach Kari Karubas said it was the meet of her life.

"I was really calm before I competed and that means everything," Cozza said. "I'm just happy with the way everything went."

Olivia McGann tied for third on bars. Jackie Fuller, Mackenzie Stotz, Kelly Ryser and Cat Mossing also earned championship medals with the team.

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