With one gymnast out and one gymnast having to pull out of Saturday’s Newton Invitational, the Railers were able to come back for the win.
The meet was scheduled originally with about six to eight teams, but most of the teams in the northeast part of the state are under COVID-19 related travel restrictions, so it was a dual meet between Newton and Emporia, with the Railers edging the Spartans 91.95-90.925.
Newton trailed going into the final rotation of the meet, but scored a 24.65 on floor to Emporia’s 22.575 on balance beam to win the meet by 1.025 points.
"I’m really proud of the girls," Newton coach JoAnne Thaw said. "Knowing Toria (Thaw) wasn’t here. Our floor looked as good as it did all year. It was nice being at home and having an audience. When we’re away, there is no audience. It’s just the gymnasts."
Newton was led by Elise Jantz, who won the all-around title at 30.575, followed by teammate Elisa Fernandez in second at 30.35. Hattie Walker of Emporia was third at 30.275.
"It’s really exciting," Jantz said. "I thought I had a really good meet. It was really gratifying. I just hit everything. I had a no-fall routine (on the balance beam). I was kind of worried about the team score. We had two of our varsity gymnasts who are really good injured right now. We had to really do our best. We have (state) at home, so that should be really nice. We should have Toria (Thaw) and Berekly (Roberson) competing by then. We’ll just go out there and try our best."
Jantz took second on the balance beam at 8.15, third on vault at 8.25, fourth on the uneven parallel bars at 6.675 and fourth on the floor exercises at 8.15.
Fernandez was third on bars at 7.35, third on the floor at 8.2, fourth on the balance beam at 6.7 and sixth on the vault at 8.1.
Toria Thaw won both the vault at 8.725 and the uneven parallel bars at 8.1, but had to withdraw from the meet because of injuries.
Newton’s Cecilia Merlini, an exchange student, took second on the floor exercises at 8.3.
Newton was missing Berkley Roberson because of injury.
"Elise did really well today," JoAnne Thaw said. "Elisa had her first medals ever. Cecilia did really well on the floor. Elise Jantz is a senior and getting first place in all-around, that was great."
Journey Walburn of Emporia won the floor exercises at 8.4. Cadence Vincent won the balance beam at 8.85.
The Railers compete at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Shawnee Mission West meet at the Indian Creek Center.