ISU gymnastics has not fared well this season in meets with three teams or more by placing third out of three teams at Iowa State on Jan. 10, fourth out of four teams at the Illinois/Michigan Invite on Feb. 1 and third out of three teams at Lindenwood on Feb. 14.
The Redbirds continued their struggles in meets with three teams or more by placing fourth out of four teams at the Illinois Classic on Friday night at Horton Field House.
The Redbirds posted a season-high score of 193.2. Illinois placed first with a 195.825 score, Illinois-Chicago took second with a score of 194.3 and Northern Illinois finished third with a 193.625 total.
“You’re never happy being fourth place at the Illinois Classic, but with the way the season has been going we are so happy for our athletes tonight,” ISU head coach Bob Conkling said. “We had the best team score we’ve had all year and we had a lot of personal-bests.”
In the first rotation, ISU posted a 48.025 score on the vault, Illinois totaled a score of 48.675 on the balance beam, Northern Illinois earned a 48.75 score on the floor exercise and Illinois-Chicago posted a 48.85 score on the uneven bars.
Sophomore Sarah Fisher headed the Redbirds, earning a career-high score of 9.75 and senior Jenna Bossle posted a season-high score of 9.575.
The Redbirds posted a 48.7 score on the uneven bars in the second rotation to move up from fourth place to third place. After the second rotation, Illinois had an overall score of 97.675, Northern Illinois at 97.75, ISU at 96.725 and Illinois-Chicago at 96.675.
A trio of Redbirds posted career-high scores on the uneven bars including sophomore Amanda Mohler’s 9.85 score, freshman Kristyn Bossle’s 9.8 total and freshman Samantha Ward’s score of 9.75.
ISU’s next event was the balance beam for the third rotation of the meet where the Redbirds posted a score of 47.75. Illinois still held the lead at the end of the third rotation by earning a 49.425 score on the vault to put the Fighting Illini at an overall score of 147.1.
Illinois’ Amber See recorded an unblemished score of 10 on the vault and Emily Lennon and Erin Buchanan both posted a 9.9 score. Junior Sami King led the way for the Redbirds on the balance beam, tying her season-high score of 9.825 and freshman Demi Pas recorded a career-high score of 9.7.
ISU was on the floor exercise for the fourth and final rotation of the meet. King earned a career-high score of 9.925, senior Kim Caron posted a season-high score of 9.775, Pas recorded a career-high 9.625 score and junior Kristen Lieberman totaled a career-high 9.650 score.
“I’m really happy for Sami King winning the floor and beam competitions after taking some time off competition,” Conkling said. “Sarah Fisher threw her vault, we let her twist it, and she stood up and did it. There were a lot of good things tonight and I was really pleased with our team’s performance.”
Caron was the lone Redbird to compete in the all-around and finished in sixth place with a 38.575 score. Illinois’ Giana O’Connor earned first place with a 39.275 score, Illinois’ Sarah Fiedler finished in second place with a score of 39.15 and Illinois-Chicago’s Catherine Dion earned a 39.125 score to finish in third place.
The Redbirds resume action on March 1 at 4 p.m. against Penn at Horton Field House for Senior Day.