Redbird Gymnasts Set To Host SEMO In 2011 Opener
Jan. 7, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - As the new year begins, so does another season of competition for the Illinois State gymnastics team, as it opens the 2011 season against Southeast Missouri State, Saturday, Jan. 8, at Horton Field House.
The Redbirds look to improve on solid 2010 campaign which saw them finish with an overall record of 17-7 and place second in the Midwest Independent Conference. ISU won its last head-to-head meeting against the conference-rival Redhawks, 193.150-193.100, last year at the Midwest Independent Conference Championships.
The meet is the first of four at home this season for the Redbirds and ISU head coach Bob Conkling, who is excited to get the season underway.
"We are excited to finally compete this weekend and see where we are strong and where we still need to focus on improving," Conkling said. "I also have the feeling the team can't wait to get their routines in front of a crowd to show them the hard work they have put into their training during pre-season. We have very high goals and expectations for the upcoming season and expect the team to be more consistent on each of the four events and their scores for each of those events to be better than last year."
Illinois State returns 14 of 16 gymnasts in 2011, including senior Erica Schick and sophomore Kim Genereux who were named All-MIC First-Team selections last season. The team also returns senior Hannah Deutsch, who qualified for the NCAA Regional Meet along with Schick. Schick competed in the all-around and placed 13th with a score of 38.700, while Deutsch performed on the balance beam and placed 39th with a score of 9.100.
"I have very high hopes for all the returning student-athletes," Conkling said. "These three have proven themselves in previous competitions and I believe they will improve upon last season."
Conkling is also looking forward to seeing what freshmen Jenna Bossle and Elise Gray bring to the team, as well as sophomore Chelsie Seplowin, who spent last year recovering from an injury.
"Jenna has come in looking to be a strong contributor, especially on vault, but I would not rule her out on any of the events," Conkling said. "Elise has been battling a foot injury, but could be a strong contributor on vault and maybe some other events. Chelsie has improved a lot since getting healthy and looks to battle for a spot in the line-up this season, especially on the uneven bars."
The meet will be streamed live online on Redbird All-Access, Illinois State Athletics' internet multimedia platform. Live meet coverage from historic Horton Field House begins promptly at 5 p.m.
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