Cowart won first event title of her collegiate career at Missouri.
Jan. 12, 2007
The Fighting Illini women's gymnastics team traveled to Columbia, Mo., to compete against the No. 18 Missouri Tigers at the Hearnes Center Friday night. Illinois struggled in the season opener, falling to the Tigers by a score of 194.025-191.025.
Illinois head coach Bob Starkell was searching for answers after the disappointing opening meet.
"We had a mock meet last week and performed quite well," said Starkell. "I don't know if it was nerves tonight, or if we just made too many mistakes."
Freshman Nicole Cowart, competing in her first collegiate competition, won the vault title with a 9.850, the highest score of the meet. That was unfortunately the only first-place finish that the Illini received. Sophomore Julie Crall placed second in all-around with a score of 38.325 and Cowart was third with a 38.250.
Illinois' top event was the vault, where it put up a team score of 48.625. In addition to Cowart's winning vault, Crall tied her career-high with a 9.775 on vault and sophomore Marijka Botterman also posted solid score of 9.750.
The Illini return to action Friday, Jan. 19 when they travel to No. 9 Louisiana State University.