Before last weekend, the Illinois State gymnastics team had finished in last place in all competitions it had participated in this season with three teams or more.
That changed Saturday when ISU took fifth place out of six teams at the Midwest Independent Conference Championships at Redbird Arena with a score of 192.45.
Southeast Missouri State took first place with a score of 195.275, Texas Woman’s finished in second with a score of 194.5, Lindenwood took third with a 194.25 score, Illinois-Chicago finished in fourth with a 193.525 score and Centenary took sixth place with a score of 191.45.
ISU earned a season-high score of 48.65 on the vault in the first rotation. Five ISU gymnasts notched season-high scores, including sophomore Sarah Fisher earning the highest score for ISU at 9.825, freshman Kristyn Bossle recording a 9.775 score, senior Jenna Bossle earning a 9.75 score and senior Elise Gray posting a 9.65 score.
The Redbirds recorded a score of 48.95 on the uneven bars in the second rotation. Jenna Bossle tied a school record with a season-high score of 9.9 and Kristyn Bossle posted a season-high score of 9.825.
“We started on vault and we were excited because we actually had all start values at ten except for one,” ISU head coach Bob Conkling said. “Kim Caron threw a new vault and Kristyn Bossle hasn’t twisted her vault all year and she did, so we were very excited with the vault results. During the next rotation, we moved to the bars and we had an awesome bars performance.”
The Redbirds posted a 46.95 score on the balance beam in the third rotation. Jenna Bossle recorded a season-high score of 9.8 and junior Sami King earned a season-high score of 9.875.
ISU earned a score of 47.9 on the floor exercise in the fourth and final rotation. Fisher headed the Redbirds on the floor exercise with a score of 9.7.
For the third year in a row, the all-around title at the MIC Championships went to a Redbird. Jenna Bossle earned the all-around title with a season-high score of 39.075.
Three ISU gymnasts emerged victorious in various events and were also named to the all-conference team. All gymnasts that finished in the top three in any event at the MIC Championships were named to the all-conference team.
Jenna Bossle earned all-conference honors thanks to her first-place finish in the all-around, first-place finish on the uneven bars and third-place finish on the balance beam.
King received all-conference honors thanks to her first-place finish on the balance beam and Sarah Fisher earned a first-place finish on the vault to earn all-conference honors.
“Individually, I could not be happier for Jenna,” Conkling said. “She hasn’t competed in the all-around since the beginning of the year and to win conference is so exciting for her in the last meet of her career. I’d have to say we were disappointed with the team results, but we are very happy with the individual performances and what they did.”