Stevenson’s Alyssa Weisberg not satisfied with old tricks

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LINCOLNSHIRE — Alyssa Weisberg’s sophomore season ended with her atop the medal stand at the state gymnastics meet, having turned in the tournament’s best routine on the balance beam en route to winning a state title.

Weisberg’s beam routine was a proven entity at that point. She could have easily returned for her junior campaign with the Stevenson girls gymnastics team with the intention of doing the exact same routine.

She didn’t, however.

“I just wanted to do something new, something that’s out of my comfort zone,” Weisberg said. “That’s just something I strongly believe in, that it’s not worth anything winning again if you do the same [routine]. I want to upgrade my skills. I want to prove to myself that I am getting better.”

Weisberg said she switched around her series, added new dance elements and changed some of her skills on beam this year. She’s also been doing combinations she’s never done prior to this season.

One combination is a front handspring to a layout step-out, which are two difficult elements that, when put together, become even more challenging. She’s also added a back tuck to a jump this year, she said.

Weisberg executed her new routine on beam at the Stevenson Regional. It was both graceful and difficult, unique among the meet’s other performances. Weisberg won a regional title on beam with a score of 9.4, which she said was about where her scores have been most of this season on beam.

Still, she wasn’t satisfied.

“I still have a lot of work to do on it,” Weisberg said.

She added that connecting her front handspring to layout step-out combination has been the thing that has been giving her problems for much of this season.

“I think she hasn’t quite hit it the way she wants to yet, so even though she won the conference meet on beam, I don’t think she’s satisfied yet with her performance,” Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. “Maybe the best is yet to come.”

Weisberg, despite not being completely pleased, lived up to expectations on beam at regionals. The pressure on her figures to only increase as she goes deeper in the postseason, but her decision to try something new figures to alleviate at least some of that.

“You feel like you have to live up to your expectations, but I just try to think, ‘It’s a new routine and it’s worth a different amount,’ ” Weisberg said.

Weisberg and her Stevenson teammates are scheduled to compete at the Niles North Sectional on Thursday. Weisberg advanced in the all-around and in all four individual events, and the Patriots earned an at-large team berth with a score of 138.925 at regionals.

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