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updated: 11/29/2017 10:39 PM

Girls gymnastics: Weinstein, Stevenson savor sweet start

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  • Stevenson's Ainslee Cutler competes on the uneven bars during girls gymnastics action Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Stevenson's Ainslee Cutler competes on the uneven bars during girls gymnastics action Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.comLibertyville's Liv Bertaud gets some positive feedback form her teammates on Wednesday at Stevenson.

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.comLibertyville's Liv Bertaud gets some positive feedback form her teammates on Wednesday at Stevenson.

  • Stevenson's Emily Weinstein gets high-fives after her uneven bars routine during girls gymnastics action Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Stevenson's Emily Weinstein gets high-fives after her uneven bars routine during girls gymnastics action Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Hannah Brand competes on the vault during girls gymnastics action Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Stevenson's Hannah Brand competes on the vault during girls gymnastics action Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Maddie Swanson competes on the uneven bars Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Libertyville's Maddie Swanson competes on the uneven bars Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Liv Bertaud competes on the vault Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Libertyville's Liv Bertaud competes on the vault Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Constance Zanze gets a hug from coach Tiffany Owens after her bars routine Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Libertyville's Constance Zanze gets a hug from coach Tiffany Owens after her bars routine Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Claire Neuberger competes on the vault Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Libertyville's Claire Neuberger competes on the vault Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Emily Weinstein competes on the uneven bars Wednesday at Stevenson.

      Stevenson's Emily Weinstein competes on the uneven bars Wednesday at Stevenson.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Emily Weinstein started off her season in good shape and so did her Stevenson gymnastics teammates.

The sophomore won three events, including the all-around (36.25), as the short-handed Patriots won their season opener with a 136.1, comfortably ahead of visiting Libertyville (127.3) in the North Suburban Conference meet.

Stevenson was without Zoe Hinz, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Weinstein earned a career-best and winning 9.55 on floor exercise. That came after a disappointing beam routine of 8.5, which was still good for second.

"I've always liked floor, no matter what happens at the beginning of the meet or at any time," Weinstein said. "I just tried to put (beam) behind me. You don't want it to affect the rest of your events. I just wanted to go out and show what I can do."

Weinstein also took first place on vault with a 9.2, as she hit her Yurchenko pike. She then chalked a 9.0 on the uneven bars.

The Patriots' Hannah Brand finished first on beam with an 8.8 and was third on vault (8.7). Sarina Johnson placed second on the vault (8.8). Sophie Whiting earned second on bars (8.35), followed by Kaylee Brady in third (8.3). Johnna Geick placed second on floor (8.85).

Johnson went first on vault for the Patriots to start the meet and landed her Yurchenko tuck with a soft landing.

"It was nerve-wracking because this is my first year doing high school gymnastics," Johnson said. "It's a new vault for me. It was exciting to start the team off with a good vault. The team helped me out a lot with the cheering, yelling and clapping."

Stevenson set a goal for 130 coming into the meet. Patriots coach Judy Harwood was pleased to see her young group of gymnasts respond in their first meet.

"I thought we had a good score and good performances," Hardwood said. "It's our first meet and we really didn't know what to expect. We really didn't know what they were capable of because we haven't competed yet. Some of these routines I haven't seen altogether yet. Some of the vaults, they were able to land on their feet. It shows some great improvement. The girls have been working hard."

Libertyville is off to a better start than a year ago, when the Wildcats were scoring in the 120s. Kylie Skie placed third on floor (8.7) and third on beam (8.1). The Wildcats also had second and third in the all-around from Maddie Swanson (31.9) and Constance Zanze (31.2), respectively.

"I'm extremely proud of our gymnasts," Libertyville coach Tiffany Owens said. "We beat our last year's first-meet score, and we lost only one girl. We've got huge potential and we've got skills that we can add in. I just thought we had a really good first meet. We do have a very young team, and the varsity needs to get their skills finalized. It's a matter of them putting their routines together, and some of them are coming back from injuries. We still have room for a lot of improvement."

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