Women's Gymnastics
Illini Top ISU In First Of Two Weekend Meets

Kara Kapernekas led the Illini to a victory over ISU Saturday night by winning the beam, floor and all-around.
Kara Kapernekas led the Illini to a victory over ISU Saturday night by winning the beam, floor and all-around.

Feb. 27, 2004

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Champaign, Ill. - The Illinois women's gymnastics team defeated Illinois State by a score of 194.225 - 192.925 on senior night in front of 889 fans at Huff Hall Saturday night. Illinois won every event except for the balance beam, and featured the winner on all four events. The team is now 7-3 on the season. Illinois head coach Bob Starkell said he was afraid his squad was looking past the Redbirds, and towards the Masters Classic in Lincoln, Neb. this Sunday.

"My assumption right now is that they might have been overlooking (this meet) a bit," said Starkell. "We might have been more concerned with the big meet on Sunday. On vault we did well, I thought we did a great job. On bars we did well, with just one big problem. I think we can improve a lot over on Sunday."

Junior Kara Kapernekas won both the balance beam (9.800) and floor exercise (9.825) on her way to the all-around crown with a score of 39.000. In addition to the wins, Kapernekas also finished second on the parallel bars (9.800). Other winners for the Illini were Dayne Botterman on vault (9.800) and Ashley Williams on the uneven bars (9.825). Williams finished second in the vault (9.750) and all-around competition (38.500). Cara Pomeroy continued her freshman success on the uneven parallel bars by scoring a 9.775 to finish third on the event. Lauren Newcomb tied for second place with teammate Katie Wild on the floor exercise, each had a score of 9.800.

"Dayne Botterman, Kara Kapernekas, and Katie Wild all had good meets," said Starkell. "Kara has been doing well and she hasn't been missing on any events. She's solid as a rock and she looks strong and confident, so hopefully that will help us in the long-term. Dayne Botterman is a quality athlete who is going to be a really good college gymnast. Katie Wild is doing everything that she wants to do right now."

Up Next: The Illini head to Nebraska for the Masters Classic this Sunday, where they will face the #7 Huskers along with #5 Florida and #26 Arizona State at 2 p.m. Next Friday they will take on #18 Auburn in Alabama at 7 p.m.