Women's Gymnastics
Illini Finish Third in Baton Rouge

Illini Finish Third in Baton Rouge - 3/13/99

The University of Illinois women's gymnastics team finished third of four teams Friday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana State, the fourth-ranked team in the country, earned the top spot with a score of 196.050. The Tigers were followed by Illinois-Chicago with a score of 195.075, Illinois with a 194.350 and Michigan State finishing fourth with a score of 190.900.

"It was a pretty good meet for our team," head coach Lynn Brueckman said. "We were consistent and didn't have to count a fall. We also had our best effort as a team on vault so this score will definitely help us with our goal of reaching regionals."

Kim Berres (Plymouth, Mich.) was the Illini's top finisher on vault, which had a season-best 48.500 as a team. Berres finished fifth with a score of 9.775. Illinois also finished with three of the top four gymnasts in the all-around. Sophomore Gina Weichmann (Clearwater, Fla.) was the Illini's top finisher with a score of 39.000 which earned runner-up honors. Senior Becky Ashton (Chester Springs, Pa.) and sophomore Phaedra Dixon (Chicago, Ill.) tied for third with a score of 38.875. Dixon also had team-high scores in two other events. She finished tied for third on the uneven bars with a 9.825 and earned sixth place with a 9.825 on floor.

Illinois will now enter the tournament portion of its schedule with championship meets in three of the next four weekends beginning with the Illinois State Meet at Northern Illinois in De Kalb, Ill., on March 20. The Big Ten Championship is slated for March 27 in East Lansing followed by the Region 3 Championship Meet in Lincoln, Neb., on April 10.

"Our kids are gearing up heading into our championship season," Brueckman said. "We get to see UIC again next weekend and we hope to put it all together at the State Meet."