Redbirds Compete in Annual Illinois vs. Michigan Meet
Senior Melissa Mann
Senior Melissa Mann

Feb. 2, 2012

The Illinois State gymnastics team will compete with Illinois-Chicago against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan in the second-annual Illinois vs. Michigan meet Friday, Feb. 3. in Ypsilanti, Mich.

The Illinois team fell last year to the Michigan schools in the inaugural Illinois vs. Michigan meet, hosted inside historic Horton Field House. Head coach Bob Conkling is searching for redemption this year, and is excited to be teamed up with UIC in the meet.

"We are very excited to compete in the second annual Illinois vs. Michigan meet," said Conkling. "I feel with as well as UIC has competed this season, and with the up-swing in our team's scoring, we have a really good chance to de-throne Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan this year."

The Redbirds set a season-high team score of 193.625 last week in a loss against Michigan State. Senior Melissa Mann placed first on the balance beam, posting a career-high score of 9.825. Also placing on balance beam was junior Tori Sarantakis, who posted a career-high score of 9.725. Freshman Sami King placed second in the all-around competition, posting a career-high score of 38.650.

The Redbirds are hoping to continue to better their scores this week, despite limited practice time.

"We were only able to get in two practices this week, but we've mostly been working on sticking landings, cleaning up form, minimizing deductions and consistency," said Conkling. "We are hoping to eliminate some mistakes and deductions from our meet last weekend, and have each individual gymnast compete to her full potential."

The meet will be held in Eastern Michigan's Warner Gymnasium, starting at 7 p.m. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.