Gymnasts Zgonc and Salgado advance to district championships

Amanda Salgado
Kaitlin Zgonc and Hannah Salgado of Aurora advanced to the OHSAA district championships.

The Aurora gymnastics team competed in the sectional gymnastics meet on February 13 at the Summit County Fairgrounds.

A total of 102 gymnasts competing from 24 schools took part in the sectional meet. The top 12 gymnasts in each of the events and the all-around advanced to the district tournament. Schools competing included traditional gymnastics powerhouses Solon, Kenston, Hudson, Mentor, Twinsburg, West Geauga, Mayfield and Chardon

Kaitlin Zgonc and Hannah Salgado represented Aurora High School in the tournament. Kassidy Fry, the third gymnast who was having an outstanding season, was unable to compete due to a foot injury. Fry, however, was in attendance to support the girls and ease their nerves.

After the chalk dust settled, both Aurora gymnasts turned in stellar performances. Zgonc had her best beam score of the season with a 9.35 which placed her fourth in the competition and also earned her a spot at the district tournament. Zgonc made a calculated risk to add a new skill in her beam routine which proved to be the right decision in getting her to the next level. She had strong performances in the other three events as well. She scored an 8.0 on vault, 8.50 on bars, 8.30 on floor and 34.15 in the all-around. She placed 15th in both bars and the all-around. 

Salgado was the bars sectional champion with a score of 9.30. She placed third on vault with a 9.075, fifth on beam with a 9.325 and seventh on floor with a 9.0. Salgado will advance to the district tournament in all four events as well as the all-around competition. Salgado had her best all-around score of the season with a 36.70, which placed her third in the all-around final standing. Salgado stated that bars has always been her favorite event so it was especially rewarding to place first in that event. 

Two sectional sessions were held so results were not immediately known. "Having to wait several hours to find out if we made it to the district tournament was nerve-wracking," said Salgado. "Typically, we know where we have placed shortly after the end of a meet.”

This season has been tougher than most due to COVID-19. The girls missed several weeks of practice when sports were put on hold in December and practicing their skills and conditioning in masks has its challenges. Not to mention injuries, which are common in the sport of gymnastics due to the rigorous year-round training. Despite these challenges, the girls have enjoyed competing for the school team this year and representing the Greenmen. Fry, Salgado and Zgonc still have three more years to increase the difficulty of their routines and refine their skills. The future looks bright for these girls.

All of this has been made possible by the great coaching of coach Gina Javorek and her staff. Each has a specialty in the four events and have helped the girls improve throughout the last several months. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls this season," said Javorek. "And though it’s almost the end, they have a long way to go. These girls performed their best all season at the sectional tournament this past weekend which earned them a very deserving seat at the district meet coming up in two weeks at Mentor High School. It was so fun to watch. Their determination and work ethic will take them far in this sport.”

Salgado and Zgonc will be competing in the district tournament in Mentor on February 27. Supporters can follow their journey on Twitter at @AHSGymnasts.