Fourth at State of Illinois Meet, Conference Lies Ahead
March 18, 2006
Normal, Ill. - Beginning the meet with their highest team vault score of the season, 48.075, the Illinois State gymnastics team fell behind in the last three events at the state meet tonight at 7 p.m. in Redbird Arena. Totaling 189.875, the `Birds claimed fourth behind first place Illinois (191.850), second place Northern (190.275) and third place Illinois-Chicago (190.125).
Having already faced and fell to Illinois and Illinois-Chicago, this was the first dueling of the Northern Illinois Huskies and the Redbirds. Another first was competition in Redbird Arena, as the gymnasts normally compete in Horton Field House. ISU head coach Bob was thrilled about hosting the meet in this facility.
"It was so exciting competing in Redbird Arena," said Conkling. "I wish we could do this every home meet, but other sports use this facility. While we were here, we really enjoyed the atmosphere and got a lot of compliments."
After their team high vault guided by Meaghan Koshman's fourth place 9.775, the `Birds rotated to the uneven bars where they saw less success. 46.950 was their team total led by Amanda Candler's 9.675 routine, which earned her sixth place. Balance beam brought a slightly higher team score of 47.075 for the Redbirds as Koshman showed off her 9.750 score, placing her fifth. Wrapping up on floor, ISU earned a 47.775, with Tove Fjordholm's 9.750 performance leading the `Birds. Fjordholm placed third on floor behind two Illinois gymnasts.
Overall, Conkling was pleased with his team's performance, but knows there is more hidden talent then the Redbirds revealed.
"As a team, we need to believe we are as good as we are and put all of our events together," said Conkling. "Tonight, we shined on vault. We need to shine on all four events to win. I've seen us do this, but it didn't happen tonight. We had a few mistakes and needed to keep a higher energy level.
"I was extremely happy to see such consistent vaulting," continued Conkling. "9.625 for Amanda Candler, 9.6 for Amy Biedenharn and 9.575 from Carolina Posada were just the scores we needed leading us along with Koshman's vault. Andi Berry's 9.5 vault was the lowest and that is still a great vault score. I'm thrilled with the entire team on vault."
Another stiff competition lies ahead for the Redbirds at Southeast Missouri State on March 25, at 1 p.m., where the Midwest Independent Conference Championships will be held.