|Deutsch represents Redbirds at Regionals|
|Written by Scott Schnorr, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 04 April 2011 17:56|
After working hard to balance out its lineup throughout the season due to injuries, the Illinois State gymnastics team concluded its season with one last performance on the balance beam.
Senior Hannah Deutsch represented the Redbirds at the NCAA Regionals after she finished 15th on the beam with a score of 9.775 Saturday.
“Hannah is healthy and had been hitting her routine all week,” ISU head coach Bob Conkling said. “She did well under pressure this weekend and had a really nice routine, so I’m proud of her.”
Last week Deutsch was preparing for the Regionals meet as an alternate until teammate and senior Erika Schick dropped out of competition. Schick’s ankle injury from a previous meet was unable to heal quick enough prior to Regionals, forcing her to back out of the all-around competition.
Schick opened up the position for Southeast Missouri State’s, Taylor Westrick, who was first set to compete on the balance beam. With Westrick switching to all-around competition, the spot then opened for Deutsch to compete on the balance beam.
“It’s unfortunate Erica was unable to compete this weekend, she has worked hard all year to get there,” Conkling said. “But Hannah did a great job stepping up.”
Deutsch’s performance this Saturday was her second appearance on the beam at Regionals, as she took 39th place with a 9.1 performance on the balance beam last year as junior.
As Deutsch began her final year as a gymnast she performed like a veteran with a record senior year for the Redbirds.
Deutsch’s performance on Saturday may not have compared to her season high this year, but she was excited with the way her gymnastics career concluded.
“I feel good about my performance,” Deutsch said. “It hasn’t quite hit me yet that my senior year is over, but I’m glad to go out on a high note.”
The rest of Regionals included Oklahoma taking first place with a 197.35, Utah taking second (196.475), followed by Washington (195.3), North Carolina (195.225), New Hampshire (194.5) and Missouri (194.175) taking third through sixth places, respectively.
The Redbirds’ outlook for next year is looking up even with the loss of important senior leaders on the team. The team will have a majority of both freshmen and sophomores returning, in hopes the list of injuries will be a little bit shorter.
“We had a difficult time with all the injuries this year, but I’m very proud of all the girls this year for the way they stepped up for each other,” Conkling said. “We have a strong group returning next year and I’m looking forward to see how we compete.”
The Redbirds will begin their 2012 season starting next spring. Regionals, however, carries on with the top teams and individuals heading to NCAA championships. April 15-17.