OPRF seniors keep busy after gymnastics
Downers Grove, 01/28/12--OPRF's Emma Rosenbaum performs on the vault. Downers Grove North HS hosted the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Girls' Gymnastics Championship Meet on Saturday. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Thursday Girls basketball: at Hinsdale Central Regional semifinal, 8 p.m.
Girls basketball: at Hinsdale Central Regional semifinal, 8 p.m.
Saturday Boys swimming: at Fenwick Sectional, 1 p.m.
Boys swimming: at Fenwick Sectional, 1 p.m.
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:07PM
GLEN ELLYN — Oak Park-River Forest seniors Nicole Pohlman and Emma Rosenbaum didn’t qualify for the IHSA girls gymnastics finals, but they’ll still be busy as they move on to spring sports.
Pohlman plays badminton while Rosenbaum will sprint for the track and field team.
Both are coming off memorable final gymnastics seasons as Rosenbaum advanced to sectional action for the first time in her career, while Pohlman also made her sectional debut and competed as an all-arounder.
“I was very excited to get to sectional, especially with it being my senior year,” Rosenbaum said. “I upgraded my vault about halfway through the season and that really helped me. It was usually a half-twist on and off and I made it a full twist.”
There had been some doubt whether or not Rosenbaum would even participate in the state series. She sprained her ankle during the conference meet and then took a heavy dosage of tape and ice before regionals.
“She had an awesome regional even though she was a little sore,” OPRF coach Kris Wright said. “All those meets were at Glenbard West so she was a little leery because of getting hurt, so I was very happy to see her get into sectionals.”
Rosenbaum’s final challenge on the vault netted an 8.2.
Pohlman, who has been participating in gymnastics since she was just 3 years old, finished with a 31.7 in the Feb. 5 Glenbard West Sectional. Her highest-scoring event was vault where she earned an 8.45. She also had an 8.05 on bars, 8.0 on beam and 7.2 on floor.
“I felt like I did well, especially with so many girls and teams at sectional who are very good,” she said. “I think I had a solid meet. I stuck beam, which is one of my favorite events, so I was proud with that. It was a great opportunity for me and a solid way to end my gymnastics career.”
In some ways the end of her career will prove beneficial, as it will free up some time. While she’ll jump right into badminton practice, Pohlman also is busy as the co-president of the Model UN, a school club that focuses on national and international causes and raises money and awareness. She’s also a member of the Tau Gamma service club, which also does fund-raising for the community.
“I’m busy,” Pohlman said. “But, I like what I’m doing.”
And she’ll miss gymnastics, especially since it’s been part of her life for as long as she can remember.
“Gymnastics is a unique sport because you have to practice year-round to stay in shape and maintain your skills,” she said. “So I’ve spent a lot of time each year hanging out with my team and bonding. I think the thing I’m going to miss most is the friendships I made and I hope I keep in contact with them.”
Wright praised the duo’s hard work and ability to lead their teammates.
“Emma’s got a sensitive awareness where she knows how to pull the girls in,” Wright said. “At sectionals we also had two freshmen (Riley Patnode, Lauren Robinson) and it’s a lot of pressure for them. But, having seniors there to comfort them and help them along was big. Those girls will leave two empty holes and hopefully the sophomores and juniors next year can help fill them.”