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Highlander gymnasts rally after poor start to win Arrowhead Invite

Emond wins bars, second in all-around

Jan. 22, 2013

Mequon - Homestead girls gymnastics coach Mike Giles quickly re-assessed his team's chances last Saturday at the Arrowhead Invitational after an uneven and poor start to the meet on the balance beam.

"Everyone collectively had a fall," he said. "Not a good start, I thought we were done."

Turns out, the Highlanders were just getting started, as they quickly picked up the pace after that and eventually won the six-team event.

"That kind of start, and we still get our season best score," said Giles. "Those were all solid teams out there so I didn't think we had a chance after that. I should have known better with our kids."

The Highlanders, who will now be off until a home dual with Cedarburg/Grafton on Jan. 30, scored 137.825 points to beat out the host Warhawks (135.525) and Kenosha (134.875).

Brittany Emond led the way, winning the uneven bars with a 9.275 score while also taking fourth in the floor exercise (8.975) and earning second in the all-around (35.125). That was despite a fall on beam that knocked her score down to 8.625.

The Highlanders' rally started in earnest with their third event, the vault, as they turned in an impressive team score of 36.3. Amanda Hopkins was second with a 9.225, while Tori Puhl was third (9.15), Monica Caputa fifth (9.125) and Leigh Berman seventh (8.8).

"We did just a phenomenal job on vault," Giles said. "Everyone was really on."

Emond got support on bars from Elyssa Tracy, who was fifth (8.525) while Ellie Trau was ninth (8.375).

On floor exercise, the Highlanders also got help from Puhl, who was fifth with an 8.925 while Hopkins turned in an 8.5 and also scored an 8.55 on beam.

"This was a really nice day," Giles said. "We got a nice plaque out of it, which was good. I was just really pleased with how the kids rallied after our start. I thought we would have a much higher score, but we still have time to get there."

On the junior varsity level, Homestead was second as Trau won the beam (7.8), Andrea Rossman was second on vault and MacKenzie Goebel was third on bars.

"It was a good showing all-around," Giles said. "We got almost everybody in (varsity and junior varsity) and it showed we could recover well from a bad event."

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