Girls Gymnastics: Hinsdale South’s Lauren Haney makes her moveDarien, 01/19/12--Hinsdale South's Jessica Hawken performs on the balance beam. Hinsdale South HS hosted Downers Grove South HS in a girls gymnastics meet Thursday evening. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 24, 2012 7:06PM
Lauren Haney has put aside any personal goals this weekend for a bigger priority.
The freshman from Burr Ridge hopes to lead Hinsdale South to a West Suburban Conference Gold Division title. The conference meet will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Addison Trail.
One of the Hornets’ last hurdles was a win over Downers Grove South Jan. 19 at home. Hinsdale South has swept all five conference opponents in dual meets this season and would clinch an outright title with a victory at Saturday’s meet.
The top challenger is considered Downers South, which lost by less than a point in the dual, 129.5-129.2.
“With conference, I’m excited after beating Downers South Thursday. I hope we can do as well (at conference) as we did Thursday,” Haney said.
Recently, Haney has outscored last year’s top returning scorer, sophomore Jessica Hawken, who got off to a slow start due to a severely sprained right ankle. Hawken missed the season-opening meet due to the injury.
Haney, who has left the Westmont-based Illinois Gymnastics Institute, will compete for the Action Gymnastics Club at Hinsdale South this upcoming club season. Action is also the home club for current Lyons Township freshman standout Kelsy Kurfirst, who is one of the individual favorites in the all-around at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division meet Saturday at Downers Grove North.
One of Hinsdale South’s assistant coaches, Jody Raymond, is the club director at Action.
“It’s really fun. I like the girls on the team, although we’re a small group,” Haney said.
Hinsdale South is the No. 11 seed in the Hinsdale Central Sectional Feb. 6 and competes in the Oswego Regional at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30. The other top seeds in the regional include No. 3 Oswego Co-op and No. 8 Sandburg-Stagg Co-op.
In Hinsdale South’s most recent major meet, Haney topped Hawken in the all-around at the Neuqua Valley Invitational Saturday.
Haney finished 17th on all-around (32.5), tied for 11th on vault (8.7), placed 16th on floor exercise (8.5), tied for 18th on uneven bars (8.05) and took 34th on balance beam (7.25).
The Hornets were seventh (125.65) out of eight teams. Hawken finished 19th on all-around (31.85) and had her top finish on the vault (8.75) for ninth place.
In the Lincoln-Way East Invitational Jan. 7, Haney was 16th on all-around (33.15) and her best finish was on uneven bars (8.3) for 18th.
“I always thought Jess was so far ahead of me. I always thought of her being so good,” Haney said. “Eventually, I do not feel so far behind her.”