Girls gymnastics: Stevenson nips Mundelein, Libertyville
If the start of the girls gymnastics season is any indication of things to come, then there's a lot of thought of where the season will end for a number of teams in the North Suburban Conference. It really looks like there will be a number of teams battling each other trying to raise the bar in each meet.
Stevenson chalked up an opening-meet victory with a score of 141.4 Wednesday night. Host Mundelein was right behind (139.7) and Libertyville third (129.75) in the Mundelein triangular.
"It's more than I anticipated and I'm excited with our score," Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. "It's been a few years since we've opened the season with a 140. The girls landed all their vaults and that's outstanding for our team. We can continue from last year what we started on bars. We're improving and they work hard, which the girls are building on it the last couple of years. We're progressing and its exciting for us."
Junior Emily Weinstein earned top honors in the all-around (36.45) leading the Patriots. She also placed first on the vault (9.5), bars (9.4) and floor exercise (9.1).
"Vault has always been one of my favorites, bars not as much, since it's something that I've worked on very much and it's showing that it's paying off," Weinstein said. "I do like all the events and it's a lot of fun.
"It was exciting for our first meet and we all worked really hard for it. We wanted to show it and this was the place to do it."
Aly Gitler and Sarina Johnson each tied for second on vault (9.3) for Stevenson. Cutler posted a second place score on bars (9.3). Gitler placed third on bars (9.1) and Sarina Johnson was second on floor (9.05).
Mundelein had a good opening meet starting the season just shy of hitting the 140 mark.
"There's still a lot of room for improvement," Mundelein coach Jesse Piland said. 'These girls will accomplish their goals based on that. Clean up some little things and add a little bonus. Everything should work out just fine.
"First meet, you have to let the nerves do what they do. It did affect some girls in a positive way and some girls had some stumbles that they wouldn't normally have. The good thing was that we got the first meet out of the way and nobody got hurt. You can't worry about the nerves and let the girls do what they can do."
The Mustangs' Elle Mishler finished in the second spot in the all-around (35.35) while her teammate Amanda Muench was third (35.1).
Muench landed the top balance beam score (9.2). She had reached the state preliminaries on the beam last February.
"Beam is always my safe place when I get up there," Muench said. "I'm pretty consistent with my skills and I feel confident sticking the routine. It was a little nerve-wracking because it was the first meet."
Audrey Kafka placed third on the beam ( (8.9) and Emma Hallin had a third-place finish on floor (8.9) for the Mustangs.
Libertyville has a number of gymnasts that have improved over last year. It really showed with a team total approaching 130.
"We had the highest starting team score in three years," Libertyville coach Tiffany Owens said. "I was hoping we would get 130, because last year that came the week right before conference. It's exciting and the girls competed really well. We still have a lot of room for growth."