Senior Lauren Newcomb placed first on the vault and tied for the top spot in the all-around in the Illini's victory over Illinois State and Central Michigan Saturday evening.
Jan. 8, 2005
NORMAL, Ill.--Head coach Bob Starkell and his Fighting Illini women's gymnastics team got first-meet jitters out of the way and topped meet host Illinois State and Central Michigan. The Illini took first with a score of 193.825, while Central Michigan placed second with 192.350 and the Redbirds of Illinois State rounded out the trio with 189.100.
"I thought on the vault we did well, and it's usually our weakest event," said Starkell. "We're pretty excited that we only counted one major break, which was late in the match and was not expected. We are really excited about doing well on balance beam, which is one of our nervous events."
Senior Lauren Newcomb led the way for the Orange and Blue, capturing the vault title with a 9.875 and tying Central Michigan's Sara Burtinsky in the all-around with a score of 38.775. The vault score for Newcomb also surpassed her career high of 9.800 set last year.
"Lauren Newcomb had a good match," commented Starkell. "She hit all four events and won the vault, and her score I'm sure will be one of the best in school history. Katie Wild also did well. She tied for third on the floor and in general her technique is very consistent and appealing to the judges' eyes, especially on the beam and floor."
Wild placed fifth on the floor exercise with a score of 9.800 and also delivered a solid beam routine earning a 9.675, good enough for eighth place. Seniors Kara Kapernekas and Ashley Williams also contributed solid all-around scores of 38.250 and 37.025 respectively toward the team victory.
Up Next: The Illini will stay on the road for their next competition, making the trip to State College, Pa. to face off against the Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday, January 15th at 7 p.m. central time. The Orange and Blue return to Champaign for their home opener Saturday, January 29th at 7 p.m. against Denver. The Fighting Illini men's gymnastics team will join the women at Huff Hall with a dual against Ohio State.
Final Meet Results--Team Totals
1. Illinois 193.825
2. Central Michigan 192.350
3. Illinois State 189.100