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updated: 2/5/2014 10:47 PM

Weisberg, Stevenson right on track at regional

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Alyssa Weisberg got about the business of defending her state balance beam championship on Wednesday night.

The Stevenson junior knows it's a different year, and a different challenge for her, as the state series gets started.

Weisberg cleared her first test, winning the beam in regional action at Stevenson with a 9.4.

"I just try to think about the skills and the technique," Weisberg said. "It's not about what this meet means -- you can't worry about the overall meet.

"At the same time, let it go. It's a different season and a new season. It's a fresh start."

Stevenson's team would like nothing better than to advance to the sectional round, and the Patriots took a step in that direction.

Glenbrook South won the regional with a score of 140.125, with Stevenson close behind at 138.925. That means the Patriots have the top-at large spot for the Niles North Sectonal.

Niles West (131.225) and Niles North (121.9) also competed at Stevenson on Wednesday.

"That was our team goal, to make it to the sectionals," Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. "It's nice to accomplish a goal.

"The girls are improving. We have some things to work on, some cleaning up before the sectional."

Weisberg placed third in the all-around with a 36.95. She also secured a second-place finish on vault (9.25) behind Glenbrook South's Hannah Hartley (9.35), along with third on bars (9.15) and floor (9.15).

Stevenson's Elizabeth Shank placed second in the all-around with a 37.075. Hartley won with 37.1.

Shank earned the top spot on bars with a strong routine (9.325). She also finished third on beam (9.275), second on floor (9.325, behind Hartley's 9.425) and fourth on vault (9.15).

"I feel my energy is better this year and I'm comfortable," said Shank, who took last year off as a sophomore. "I'm pretty much back with the energy level. I feel I have more confidence this year.

"I'm adding little improvements every week, so eventually by the end of the year there's a big difference from the beginning."

Stevenson's Mikaela Webb also qualified for the sectional by finishing fourth on bars (9.1) and fifth on beam (8.675).

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