Redbird Gymnasts Head South to Defend MIC Title
March 22, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State gymnastics team will head to Shreveport, La., in search of a second-straight conference championship, when the Redbirds defend their title at the Midwest Independent Conference Championships held at the Gold Dome. The five-team meet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
ISU is coming off a second-place finish last week at the State of Illinois Classic and will compete against conference rival Illinois-Chicago for the second-straight week. Southeast Missouri State, Texas Women's and the host, Centenary, will join the Redbirds and the Flames on the mat.
ISU head coach Bob Conkling is looking forward to another competitive conference meet and believes the competitions will be strong.
"We are looking forward to competing at the MIC Conference Championship this weekend," Conkling said. "Everyone in the conference has had a successful season up to now, so it should be a very tight race for the title of MIC team champion. I believe that whichever team hits their routines on all four events will most likely be the champion."
The Redbirds return four gymnasts who were named First-Team All-MIC performers last year, and led the team to its first conference title in over 10 years. Last year's conference all-around champion, Kim Genereux, is back to defend her title after a strong 2013 campaign.
Apollonia Barrientos also returns to defend her conference title on the floor exercise, after earning a score of 9.825 last year to go along with a third-place finish on uneven bars with a score of 9.775. Elise Gray earned a third place finish on vault with a score of 9.800 to earn all-conference honors and Sami King placed second on the balance beam with a score of 9.850.
Senior Tori Sarantakis and junior Jenna Bossle also return with championship experience and both have been key to the Redbirds' success this season. After competing in 10 meets to prepare for the defense of their title, Conkling believes his team is ready for the championship meet.
"Our team has looked good this week in workouts and is well prepared for a successful competition and defense of our conference title from last year," Conkling said.
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