Redbirds Place Third in State of Illinois Classic
March 17, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State gymnastics team tied its second best team score this season of 194.350 Saturday evening, placing third at the annual State of Illinois Classic in Urbana, Ill.
Topping the Redbirds were first place Illinois with a team score of 196.150, and second place Illinois-Chicago with a team score of 194.550. Northern Illinois placed fourth, respectively, with a team score of 193.050.
Head coach Bob Conkling was happy to see high scores this week from the team.
"As a whole I felt the team did really well," said Conkling. "We didn't have any falls and stuck every event. Our biggest weakness was the slow start on beam and floor. The team was not as confident as it needed to be. Many of the gymnasts were second guessing their skills, but they still made their routines stick. We kept getting better as the meet went on. I am really pleased with the team as a whole. Illinois and Illinois-Chicago are ranked within the top 30 in the nation and we were not far behind them. It was truly a great meet for us."
Leading the Redbirds was junior Kim Genereux, placing second on the uneven bars with a career high score of 9.850. Close behind was teammate Robin Weissman who placed 9.800, followed by junior Apollonia Barrientos and freshman Samantha King who each earned a score of 9.775, totaling a team score of 48.950.
"Bars were definitely our strength this competition," said Conkling. "I was pleased with everybody throughout the event. Even when the gymnasts had small mistakes, they covered them and proceeded strongly with their routine. Kim Genereux had a really good bar routine. She looked great and I think she completely deserved the score she received."
Placing second on vault was sophomore Elise Gray with a score of 9.800. Juniors Marissa Stom and Kim Genereux closely followed, earning a solid 9.725 on vault to round out a solid team effort of 48.650.
"Elise has really been doing great on vault all year," said Conkling. "She started off the season with a lower confidence level than she has now. As the season has gone on she has become more and more confident in her skills and her routines making her vault performances progressively stronger."
The Redbirds travel to Chicago for the Midwest Independent Conference Championships Saturday, March 24 at 5 p.m. The `Birds will face MIC rivals Illinois-Chicago, Southeast Missouri State, Centenary, and Texas Woman's University.
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