Junior Elise Gill won her first career event title by tying a career best with a 9.825.
Feb. 17, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - On Friday night at Huff Hall, the "Pink Meet" between Big Ten rivals No. 18 Illinois and Michigan State came down to the wire and ended in a tie at 195.175. The Illini, who were sporting pink leotards along with the Spartans for breast cancer awareness, retained a share of the Victory Plank after capturing the rivalry trophy during each of its first two seasons in existence. Junior Elise Gill won her first career event title, as she shared the floor crown with sophomore Amber See.
"We had too many mistakes throughout the meet, so we need to work on perfecting our routines at this point in the season," head coach Kim Landrus said. "After starting with a fall on beam, our next five competitors really came through for us and executed their routines, so I am really proud of them."
Both squads hit their routines during the final rotation, keeping the contest close until the finish. The Spartans scored a 49.000 on beam to close the meet while the Illini finished with a 48.950 after an inquiry adjusted See's floor score from a 9.800 to a 9.825, resulting in Illinois' second tie this season. The Orange and Blue tied Iowa at 195.075 in the second meet of the year.
The Illini began the night with a 48.575 on vault, led by a 9.775 from senior Kelsey Joannides and a 9.750 by junior Alina Weinstein, who placed third and fourth, respectively. Juniors Jaclyn Kantecki and Elise Gill each had a 9.700 while See rounded out the scoring with a 9.650.
During the second rotation on bars, Illinois came away with a 48.750 after three gymnasts set or tied their personal bests. Kantecki earned the runner-up spot by matching her career high with a 9.850 while See turned in a career best with a 9.825 to tie for third with senior Hannah Welker. Sophomore Elizabeth McNabb also had a personal-best performance with a 9.775 tie for fifth.
Illinois' top two scores of the meet came during the final two rotations on beam and floor. Sophomore Sarah Fiedler grabbed second place and paced the beam team with a career-high 9.850, helping the Illini earn the second-best beam total of the season with a 48.950. Joannides tied for third with a 9.825 while Kantecki notched a career-best 9.775 to tie with Weinstein. McNabb wrapped up the scoring with a 9.725.
Gill tied a career high with a 9.825 to share top honors on floor with See. Welker and Fiedler each posted personal bests with 9.775s, giving the Orange and Blue the top four gymnasts on the event. Freshman Kelsi Eberly also matched a career high with a 9.700 to give Illinois its third-best floor score this year.
Up Next: Illinois will travel to Tempe, Ariz., for a dual meet against No. 25 Arizona State on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. (CT).