Senior Alina Weinstein's 39.550 all-around score ties Allison Buckley for the highest score in school history
Feb. 9, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Illini delivered a high quality performance this evening inside the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis but came up against a strong No. 13 Minnesota squad who narrowly edged out the surging Illini by a score of 196.775-196.350. Alina Weinstein produced a history-making performance as the senior scored a career high 39.550 on the All-Around, tying Allison Buckley for the highest all-around score in Illinois history.
"Alina's school record all-around performance is a direct reflection of how hard she has worked this year to make her senior year her best yet," said Illinois Head Coach Kim Landrus. "It is a great accomplishment and I could not be more proud of her performance tonight."
Buckley, a 2011 alum, originally set the top mark of 39.550 on March 12, 2011, at the State of Illinois Classic. Tonight, Weinstein achieved the mark by scoring a season high 9.850 on bars and a 9.875 on vault. Weinstein then tied her career highs on floor and beam by scoring a 9.925 and 9.900, respectively. For her efforts, Weinstein took home the all-around, floor and beam titles while claiming fourth on bars and second on vault.
The Orange and Blue came very close into knocking off the undefeated Gophers tonight, as the Illini scored the eighth highest team total in school history with their 196.350. Illinois showed a great bounce back from their 194.750 at Nebraska a week ago.
"After last weekend, we talked about what we could take from our Nebraska performance to help us reach our season goals," continued Landrus. "The girls took it to heart all week and channeled their energy into making each practice count. They know that if we are going to be a top team, we have to put 24 great routines on that floor. I feel as if we came very close to doing that tonight."
Illinois started on bars where they scored a season high 49.150. Kato accomplished the highest score for the Illini with her 3rd place finish and career high score of 9.875. Jaclyn Kantecki delivered a season high of 9.825, while Jordan Naleway tied her career high of 9.775. Sarah Fiedler rounded out the score with a 9.825. Thus, after the first rotation, Illinois led 49.150-49.125.
The Illini moved to vault next where they hit the 49.000 mark for the first time in 2013. Junior Amber See tied for third with a season high 9.850. Giana O'Connor followed right behind by tying her career high of 9.825. Freshman Heather Foley also took a step forward, tying her career high of 9.750 that she originally set against Michigan State. Finally, Jaclyn Kantecki hit her season average exactly with a 9.700.
At the halfway point, the Gophers reclaimed the lead by a margin of 0.250 thanks to a 49.275 on bars, besting their previous high of 48.875 on the event. Yet, the Illini battled back in the third rotation, as they tied their season high on floor with a 49.250. Amber See tied for third with a season high 9.850, improving by a 0.100 from the previous two weeks. O'Connor once again finished right behind See with a 9.825. In addition, Fiedler and Naleway both tallied a 9.800, as the score tied Naleway's career high in the event.
After the Gophers delivered a 49.000 on beam, the two squads were deadlocked at 147.400 a piece heading into the final rotation. Furthermore, the Illini and Gophers ended the meet on their respective top ranked events, as the Orange and Blue are 18th in the nation on beam while Minnesota is 8th on floor.
Amber See went first for the Illini and ended her routine with a stuck dismount to tie her career high of 9.850. The score was good for a fourth place finish, as See concluded the meet by securing top-5 finishes in all three events she competed in. Giana O'Connor also stuck her dismount on beam as her 9.825 gave her a fifth place showing. Fiedler and Kato rounded out the beam scoring with a 9.725 and 9.650, respectively. Therefore, the Illini scored a 48.950 on beam while Minnesota produced a 49.375 on floor to claim victory in the meet.
"The girls did a great job tonight delivering several season best performances," said Landrus. "Many of the little things we've been working on were carried out. The team knows that we have to build on today so that we can put back to back strong performances together. They are not going to settle and are determined to get back in the gym ready to perform in front of our home crowd again next weekend."
Up next, the Orange and Blue return to Champaign for the second home meet of the season. The Illini will be hosting the Iowa Hawkeyes in their annual Gym Jam promotion on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m. CT inside Huff Hall. The first 500 fans will receive a free Illini Gymnastics water bottle and free food.