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Girls Gymnastics: Shepard’s Skylor Hilger aims to make big impression at state

Shepard’s Skylor Hilger is Southland's lone representative 2014 Girls State Gymnastics Championships. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media

Shepard’s Skylor Hilger is the Southland's lone representative at the 2014 Girls State Gymnastics Championships. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 22, 2014 6:17AM



As a freshman in 2013, Shepard’s Skylor Hilger qualified for the Girls State Gymnastics Championships in the all-around and all four events. She planned on having a busy weekend.

Judging by her sectional scores, it appeared she was primed to bring home some state hardware.

The night before the meet, though, she fell ill and wasn’t able to compete. She was able to march out with the rest of the state’s elite in the opening ceremony, but that was all her body allowed her to do.

The Worth resident tried to make the most of it by cheering on some athletes whom she’d worked with during the club season.

“I had some good friends competing,” Hilger said. “I wanted to show them support.’’

This year, she hopes to do more than just march and watch when the state meet gets rolling at 4:50 p.m. Friday at Palatine.

Hilger, the lone Southland gymnast competing at Palatine, advanced out of the Hinsdale Central Sectional in the all-around (36.050) and floor exercise (9.450). She also qualified at-large in vault (9.300).

She said she’s glad to be back after last year’s disappointment.

“I was so pumped to make it to state,” Hilger said. “But it was one of those things where I could not go out there. It was bad. It was really disappointing.

“I wanted to really come back and qualify again for myself.’’

Shepard doesn’t have a team, so Hilger competed as an individual in a few meets before hitting it hard during the postseason.

Hilger returned to the sport her freshman year after taking three years off. During that time off, she developed into a strong softball player. She’s dedicating time to both sports.

“I plan on playing both sports all the way (through high school) because I really enjoy it,” she said.

This season, a hand injury limited the amount of practice and competition time Hilger got during the gymnastics season. She thinks that with a pair of postseason meets under her belt she might flirt with a score of 37 or higher in the all-around at state.

There will be a new team champion as 2013 champ Carmel did not qualify for state this season. Lyons, which recorded a 149.875 in the sectional, and Prairie Ridge (148.525) enter as favorites.



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