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Gymnastics: Leman ties for 1st in all-around as DeKalb wins sectional

CAROL STREAM – For the past two weeks, a pair of mistakes have kept Aleah Leman from all-around titles, which instead were claimed by sophomore teammate Madison Hickey.

On Wednesday at the Glenbard North Sectional, not even the defending state champ in the all-around could beat Leman.

The DeKalb-Sycamore senior finished with a 38.675, winning three of the four events and tying Glenbard West’s Maddie Diab for the all-around title as the Barbs won the team title.

“I definitely wanted to come in and have a lot of fun and do my best for the team,” Leman said. “When you have a team like this, it makes it so much easier because you know you have the support to do it.”

Leman won the bars with a 9.725, the beam with a 9.625 and the floor with a 9.675. Diab made up the difference with a 9.925 on the bars, while Leman took fifth with a 9.625.

Two weeks ago at the Upstate Eight Conference tournament, Leman fell off the beam, costing her a shot at the all-around. Last week at the DeKalb Regional, she stumbled on her floor routine.

“That was pretty exciting,” DeKalb coach Andy Morreale said of Leman’s all-around co-title. “She’s had a couple bobbles here lately, but (she) put it all together. It should give her some huge confidence going into the state meet.”

The Barbs finished with a score of 148.575, comfortably ahead of Glenbard West’s second-place showing of 145.725.

Hickey, after all-around titles the past two weeks, stumbled on the beam for an 8.85 as she finished with a 37.35 overall, good for fourth in the all-around.

“I think the stage maybe got to her,” Morreale said. “I thought on bars she was a little underscored, to be quite frank. It was a great, great beam routine with just a little mishap with her hand hitting her leg – something that normally doesn’t happen.”

By the numbers: Hickey finished fourth on the vault (9.7) and second to Leman on the floor (9.575). Lauren Leman was the only other Barb with a medal, taking fourth on the bars with a 9.5.

Beyond the stats: The Barbs’ score was the highest of the completed sectionals so far.

They said it: “Next week we need to work on being more consistent in places, cleaning stuff up,” Morreale said. “We probably have a point we can go up still based on some of the mistakes we had. Hopefully, the girls will be hungry.”

Up next: The Barbs will head to the IHSA State Championships on Feb. 17 and 18 in Palatine.

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