This Stevenson teams bears watching

 
By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Chalk it up as a good start to the season for Stevenson's girls gymnastics team, as the Patriots got past visiting Lake Forest 122.05-119.9 in a North Suburban Conference opener in Lincolnshire on Wednesday night.

Even two-time state beam champion Alyssa Weisberg liked what she saw from a supporting role in the stands. She is sitting out her senior year after dealing with a wrist injury and a concussion last season.

"I'm mainly here supporting the team, it's the most important thing," said Weisberg, watching the meet. "It's definitely strange sitting on this side."

Elizabeth Shank led the Patriots, winning all-around honors with 34.75. She also earned the top spots on the floor exercise (9), bars (8.8) and beam (8.2) and took second on vault with an 8.75.

Stevenson's Mikaela Webb landed in the top spot on vault with an 8.8. She also finished second on floor (8.4) and tied for second with Jessica Pasquesi of Lake Forest on the beam (7.65). Webb also placed second in the all-around with a 32.6.

"Right now we're looking forward," Stevenson coach Judy Hardwood said. "Our returning gymnasts looked good. They do have individual goals, so they're working hard. It might have been a little rough, but I'm encouraged with what I saw. I do expect some of younger gymnasts will build throughout the year."

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Shank only recently got back into the gym and was pretty happy with her bars score.

"I was happy with the bars because I've got some skills in," Shank said. "We've been working on things for the last few weeks. It's mostly getting the skills back and getting specific muscles for the bars."

Webb, a junior, sported a big smile after landing her Yurchenko tuck to start her season.

"It was the first time I was able to land it real well," Webb said. "I usually have too much power and I was able to figure out how to get it right. Sometimes I over-rotate too much -- that makes it harder to land it."

Lake Forest was led by Pasquesi, who finished third in the all-around (31.8) along with placing second on bars (8.35) and third on floor (7.65). Emma Hoshino placed third on the vault (8.35) and Sara Rossman was third on bars (7.85).

"The first half was better than the second half," Lake Forest coach Megan Miles said. "But it wasn't bad for the first night out. We've got a couple of young freshman that have a lot of talent. In a matter of time they should do very well. Hopefully, in a few meets, we should have more skills in."

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