Julie Crall won two individual titles at Sunday's meet.
March 4, 2007
The 23rd-ranked Fighting Illini women's gymnastics team scored a 194.675 in a tri-meet victory over Illinois State and UW-Lacrosse on Sunday at Horton Fieldhouse in Normal, Ill. Sophomore Julie Crall, and freshmen Nicole Cowart and Sarah Schmidt each won two individual titles as Illinois swept all-four events and the all-around. Illinois State took a distant second with a score of 187.825, and UW-Lacrosse, a Division III powerhouse, was third with a 184.175.
"It was a good meet overall," head coach Bob Starkell said. "Some mistakes were made, but we just need to improve on them before we host Auburn next week."
Illinois took five of the top six places on vault, with Crall taking the title with a career-high tying 9.850. Sophomore Marijka Botterman tied for second with a 9.800, junior Michelle McGrady was fourth with a 9.750 and Schmidt and Cowart tied for fifth with 9.700s. The 48.850 total on the event was the third highest vault score this season for the Illini.
The Illini continued their domination on bars, taking the top five places. Cowart, Schmidt and senior Cara Pomeroy all tied for first place with 9.800s. Cowart's 9.800 was a new career-high. Trailing closely behind the trio was Marijka Botterman with a 9.750 to take fourth, while junior Krystal Melcarek took fifth with a 9.700. The Orange and Blue totaled a 48.850 on bars, which is the third highest bars score this season.
The Illini struggled a bit on floor in the third rotation, but still grabbed five of the top six scores. Schmidt won her second title of the night with a 9.800, while fellow freshman Cowart placed third with a 9.675. Melcarek, Botterman and sophomore Lindsey Smith all tied for fourth with a 9.650.
The Orange and Blue finished things off on the balance beam, where Crall took home a second event title with a 9.825. Three of her teammates took the next three spots, with Cowart placing second with a career-high 9.800, Schmidt taking third with a 9.700, and Botterman rounding out the top-four with a 9.675.
Cowart scored a 39.000 to win her third-career all-around title, just ahead of teammate and second place finisher Marijka Botterman, who finished with a 38.875.
Coming up next, Illinois (6-5, 3-1) will have a rare two-meet weekend. First they'll host nationally-ranked Auburn at Huff Hall on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m. Then they'll head to Colorado to face Denver University on Sunday, March 11.