Illini Set Record Vs. Minnesota
The University of Illinois women's gymnastics team set a new team-high score in a 194.900-194.475 loss to No. 10 Minnesota at Huff Hall Saturday night. The record-setting effort comes a week after the Illini tied the previous best of 194.300 in a dual meet against SE Missouri State and Missouri on February 20.
The Illini, ranked No. 25 in the country, were led by by sophomore Pheadra Dixon (Chicago, Ill.) who set career highs in three of five events. Dixon won the all-around with a career-best 39.150 and the floor exercise with a 9.900. Her other career mark was on the vault (9.725) where she finished fourth.
"We were consistent tonight in all four events for the first time this year," head coach Lynn Brueckman said. "It was good to see them step up to the challenge. We knew it was going to be a tough meet, with Minnesota being ranked No. 10, and we knew we had to hit. The kids came in and did the job."
The Illini earned the top three spots on the balance beam with senior Kim Berres (Plymouth, Mich.) winning the event with a 9.850. She was followed by Melanie Dorwart (Sr., Effort, Pa.) who finished second with a 9.775 and Gina Wiechman (So., Clearwater, Fla.) who finished third with a 9.750. Illinois also took two of the top three spots on the floor exercise highlighted by Dixon's first-place 9.900 effort. Berres finished third with a 9.875.
In addition to Dixon's three career highs, two other Illini set personal bests. Dorwart's 9.775 was her best effort to date as was Carmella Fernandez's (Boundbrook, N.J.) 9.750 on the uneven bars.
The Fighting Illini (6-5 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) will be back in action on Saturday, March 6, hosting Big Ten foe Ohio State at 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.