Redbirds Fall to No. 37 Western Michigan, Despite Season High Scores
Feb. 17, 2012
The Illinois State gymnastics team lost to No. 37, Western Michigan Friday night, despite a season high team-score of 194.775. The team-score is the highest the Redbirds have earned in the past seven years, since head coach Bob Conkling arrived at Illinois State.
Conkling is thrilled with how the Redbirds performed.
"Overall I feel the team did really well tonight," said Conkling. "The gymnasts' scores are raising almost every single week, and their confidence level is getting to where it needs to be. We did great tonight, but we can always improve and always do better. The team has been working on eliminating deductions and continuing to improve scores. They have really been working hard on improving themselves."
Junior Kim Genereux placed first in the all-around competition for the second week in a row, with a career-high score of 39.10. Genereux placed first on floor exercise, with a career high score of 9.800, and second on vault, with a score of 9.775. Tying for second place on vault with Genereux was sophomore Elise Gray, also with a score of 9.775.
"It is amazing Kim is doing as well as she is with the limited amount of time she has to train," said Conkling. "She misses more workouts than anyone with such a time consuming major. How well she has been doing really shows her dedication. She is very efficient in her workouts when she is in the gym."
Leading the Redbirds on the balance beam was freshman Samantha King, placing first with a career high score of 9.825.
"I thought Sami's performance was great but even she will admit she can do even better," said Conkling. "I do think Sami looked really good tonight. Once I saw her hit her beam routine I knew it would be really hard to beat."
Senior Robin Weissman placed first on uneven bars, with a career high score of 9.825. Weismann placed second on floor exercise, with a score of 9.775. Junior Apollonia Barrientos placed third on uneven bars, with a season high score of 9.775.
"We've been really working on Robin hitting all of her handstands and verticals on the bars," said Conkling. "Recently, she has really been improving and really listening. She has become very consistent and it is now showing in competition."
The meet was a "pink meet", to benefit breast cancer awareness. Assistant coach Steve Avgerinos was happy to hold a meet to support a great cause.
"Unfortunately many of us have been affected by the horrible cases of breast cancer in some way," said Avgerinos. "It is nice to be able to support the cause and raise awareness. It was a great meet."
The Redbirds travel to conference rival SEMO Friday, Feb. 24, and the meet will start at 6:30pm.
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