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Gymnastics

Madison Hickey named Daily Chronicle Gymnast of the Year

Prep gymnastics: First career state title earns Hickey player of year award

Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com
DeKalb-Sycamore co-op gymnast Madison Hickey performs a jump as she runs through her routine on the balance beam Feb. 7 during practice at Energym in Sycamore.
Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com DeKalb-Sycamore co-op gymnast Madison Hickey performs a jump as she runs through her routine on the balance beam Feb. 7 during practice at Energym in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Sure, there is the medal and adoration that comes with winning a state championship.

But Madison Hickey is looking forward to another perk.

"I'm really excited about getting a sign," the junior said, referring to the street sign the city gives indicating that Sycamore is the home of a state champion.

Not only did the DeKalb-Sycamore gymnast win first place in the vault and medal in the floor exercise, she was named the 2017-18 Daily Chronicle Gymnast of the Year.

Hickey posted a 9.75 on the vault in the state tournament to win it, and was tied for fourth with a 9.55 on the floor.

It was the second win in a row for DeKalb-Sycamore on the vault, with Aleah Leman winning the 2017 title.

"Getting a state title is really awesome for me," Hickey said. "I've been wanting to get one ever since freshman year. Aleah won vault last year, so I'm happy to follow in her footsteps."

Although the state tournament ended with her claiming two medals, it didn't start the way Hickey had hoped. She struggled on the bars and the beam in the all-around competition on the first day, taking 17th.

"I was a little upset I didn't place top 5 in the all-around. I was really hoping I could," Hickey said. "But I knew I had to go into vault and floor finals. I told myself it's a new day."

DeKalb-Sycamore coach Andy Morreale said that he didn't doubt Hickey would be able to bounce back.

"I think it hit her pretty hard that first day," Morreale said. "But Maddie is a pretty strong kid. She kind of uses it to her advantage. She used it to drive her instead of collapsing and feeling sorry for herself. She's a really tough kid from an emotional standpoint, and I think it helped her."

Hickey was a tenth of a point out of second place on the floor.

"I thought ranking-wise on the floor she should have been second," Morreale said. "But you'd have to discuss that with the judges."

Morreale said he already has high expectations for next year after Hickey put it together this year, claiming the two medals.

And, of course, a street sign.

"It was funny – her biggest comment was 'Now I get a street sign,' " Morreale said. "She was pretty pumped about that after seeing Leah's street sign."

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