#14 Illini Record a 196.775 in Tri-Meet Victory
Feb. 23, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Two days after Illinois broke the school vault record, the 2014 Illini continued to insert their name into the record book. On Sunday afternoon in front of over 1,000 fans at Huff Hall, Illinois scored a 196.775 in its tri-meet win over No. 19 Central Michigan (196.425) and No. 23 Ohio State (195.925). The team total is the second highest in school history, only behind the 2011 squad's 196.975. In addition, this year's squad has now placed three scores onto the all-time top-10 Illinois team totals list.
"The challenge today was to improve and correct the things that went wrong on Friday and I think the team did exactly that," said Illinois head coach Kim Landrus. "I couldn't be more pleased. We had a lot of stuck landings and a lot of well executed routines."
The Illini started on vault where they posted a 48.975. The squad was led by Amber See and Erin Buchanan, who each scored a 9.850 and tied for fourth place. See has yet to score below a 9.800 through eight meets this season, including her perfect 10.0 from Friday night.
Illinois moved to bars next where they tied the eighth best score in school history with a 49.225. It also marked the second time this season the Illini hit at least a 49.2 on bars.
Sunny Kato collected her fourth bars title of the season after tying her career high of 9.900 for the second time in three meets. Sarah Fiedler followed right behind in second place with a 9.850. Giana O'Connor, Elizabeth McNabb and Mary Jane Horth all tied for fourth with a 9.825, as McNabb tied her career high set back at Michigan State on Jan. 10.
The Illini continued to make history on its third rotation, where they scored the third highest beam total ever recorded with a 49.300. The 2011 Illinois squad holds the top-two spots in the record book with a 49.375 and 49.325.
Giana O'Connor led the squad on beam with a second place finish and a career high 9.900, blowing by her previous season best of 9.800. In addition, McNabb and Kato tied for fourth with a 9.875 each. Kato has been the definition of consistency all season for the Orange and Blue, as the junior is averaging a 9.856 on beam.
Illinois wrapped its stellar meet with a season high 49.275 on floor, their fifth score above 49 on floor this season. See tied her career high 9.95 for the third time in her career and the first time this season. She remains one of six gymnasts all-time at Illinois to tally a 9.95 or higher on floor and the first to accomplish the feat three times. See's score also earned the senior her third floor title of the season. Finally, Erin Buchanan also achieved a top-five finish with her fourth place 9.875. Buchanan has hit at least a 9.825 on floor in all eight meets.
Last but certainly not least, Sarah Fiedler was the top all-arounder for the Illini this afternoon, tying her career high of 39.200 set just last week at Penn State. The senior has recorded four straight scores above 39 in the last three weeks, averaging a 39.144 in that span.
Next week, the Illini invade Norman, Okla. to take on the top school in the nation. The meet vs. No. 1 Oklahoma is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Feb. 28.