Home / News / Vernon Hills’ Annika Chudy wins state championship

Vernon Hills’ Annika Chudy wins state championship


Every athlete dreams of ending their athletic career with a championship, but Vernon Hills senior Annika Chudy made that a reality Saturday.

After a series of painful near misses the past two seasons, Chudy won her first state title in the final event of her gymnastics career by dominating the floor exercise at the state meet in Palatine.

“This is very rewarding,” Chudy said. “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this sport and it feels really good to finally show it.”

Chudy was already the most decorated gymnast in Vernon Hills history and entered this season with five state medals. He added three more this weekend, but none of them were golden until the floor exercise, when he delivered a wonderful double spear on his first flip pass.

From there, it felt like greatness was in store.

“Obviously, you’re always a little nervous, but I knew if I hit every pass I would have a good chance of winning,” Chudy said. “So I went out there confidently and was able to get through it.”

Chudy placed 10th out of 11 competitors in the floor final and scored 9.675, putting Hersey Junior ahead by 0.125. Sabrina Nemcekwho edged him out for the all-around state title on Friday. That left Lake Park senior Julia Bartnik as the last girl standing between Chudy and the coveted title, with Bartnik posting an 8.85.

Thus, Chudy made history and became the first Vernon Hills gymnast to win a state title in floor exercise. Cougars coach Denise Caton had a feeling it would happen.

“Even before he got on the floor he was like, ‘I’m ready to do this.’ I’m ready to hit. I’m ready to make it big,’” Caton said. “That’s exactly what he did.

“We’ve been working hard on this all season and it’s nice to have a perfect performance in the final routine.”

Annika Chudy of Vernon Hills performs on uneven bars during the state meet on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Palatine. (Brian O’Mahoney/News-Sun)

Chudy’s career was already one most gymnasts could only dream of. Although her freshman season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chudy earned eight top-five medals, including three in the all-around, and finished fifth as a sophomore and second as a junior.

Chudy, who recorded the highest section score in the state with 38.35, was a slight favorite in the overall standings this time. Only a drop on the balance beam prevented her from doing so.

This allowed Nemcek to win the overall championship with 37.8 points. Chudy and Palatine sophomore Jolee Waddington finished second in 37.75.

“I knew I should have hit the beam, but I didn’t,” Chudy said. “Obviously I was really angry at myself, but Sabrina is an incredible gymnast, so I couldn’t be angry.

“When I came back (Saturday), I knew I had three more opportunities to grab first, which were on the ground.”

But first there were two more near misses. Chudy received 9.525 points and took second place after Nemcek, who received 9.675 points.

Next was the safe. Nemcek won this too with a score of 9.75, the highest score of the match. Chudy finished sixth with 9.525 points, one place behind her young teammate Livy Tran, who scored 9.55 points.

That made Chudy’s victory on the field even more satisfying.

“It was amazing,” Caton said. “Every gymnast has mentally challenging ups and downs and seasons. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more to see Anni finish on that high, bright note.”

Chudy, who said he has a 4.4 GPA, said he has the skills to compete in college after spending three years with the club at Level 10. However, he said that Saturday was his last meeting.

“I have plans to become a chemical engineer, and my academics will get me to a better college than gymnastics,” Chudy said. “I think doing engineering and sports will be really difficult.”

What Chudy has helped engineer at Vernon Hills cannot be understated. He led the Cougars to second place in team competition in 2022 and 2023 (their first state championships in program history) and fifth place this season, and he did it with class.

“Anni’s heart goes everywhere,” Caton said. “It’s not just within him and our team. Everyone who was at this school this weekend. He’s cheering everyone on. He has a heart of gold. He wears his heart on his sleeve and everyone notices it.

Caton saw this every day.

“There are many times when one of the girls at the gym does something and Anni says, ‘That motivated us all,’” Caton said. “He’s been a big part of our program. He’s amazing.”

Matt Le Cren is a freelance reporter.


About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super