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Girls State Gymnastics: Shepard’s Hilger places sixth in floor exercise

No one’s patience was tested more than Shepard’s Skylor Hilger during Saturday’s state girls gymnastics individual event championships at Palatine.

Hilger, who qualified in the floor exercise, was the last gymnast to compete on Saturday, and the floor exercise was the final event of this year’s competition.

Lyons junior Kelsy Kurfirst won the floor exercise for the second straight year with a 9.675, while Hilger placed sixth with a 9.45.

“I thought it went well,” Hilger said. “I was just thrilled to have a chance to be here today.”

She finished 10th during Friday’s preliminaries so just getting to Saturday was a huge accomplishment for the sophomore.

“It was so exciting just to make it and I made it by the skin of my teeth,” she said.

It’s been a peculiar winter for Hilger, who didn’t fully compete until regionals after breaking her hand playing softball.

It didn’t take her long to regain some of her skills though, particularly on floor.

“I always have my skills on floor and I don’t practice it as much compared to the other events,” she said. “I can rely on it so I think that helped and was probably the event I had the best chance of getting here on.”

While she had to wait a couple hours to finally perform on the mat, she had no reason to complain.

“I just sat back and cheered on my friends and made myself forget that I had to compete,” she said. “When they started the floor, I just made sure to warm up my body and told myself I’ve hit this routine so many times so just do it again.”

Which she did almost well enough to get a medal.

“Now I’m fired up to come back next year,” she said.



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