The Illinois State gymnastics team saw unexpected success thanks to a career-high performance from ISU sophomore Cameron Topp.
The Redbirds came into the Midwest Independent Conference Championships just 2-8 overall and having lost their past five meets.
However, ISU placed five first-place finishes at the MIC Championships Friday in Shreveport, Louisiana, as the Redbirds placed second overall behind a first-place tie.
The Redbirds, with an all-round team score of 194.100, placed just behind Lindenwood and UIC who tied for first with 195.350 points.
“Tonight, the scoring was very tight, but I thought we did really well on bars with no major mistakes,” ISU head coach Bob Conkling said. “Our best performance was definitely on floor, being able to tie with UIC was huge. We finished well on vault, and overall I was happy with how the meet went.”
The team was helped to its second-place finish by Topp, who earned an individual conference title on the floor with a 9.900 score. Topp’s win contributed to the team scoring a season-high score of 49.100 on the floor.
Other Redbirds who earned conference honors include: junior Gabrielle Cooke, finishing first team all-conference on the vault, beam, floor and all-around; senior Meredith LaRoche, finishing first team on the vault; junior Anna Marema, finishing first team on the uneven bars; freshman Mia Quigg with first team on the floor; freshman Charlise Doctor, second team on the vault; senior Kylie Meyer, second team on the uneven bars and sophomore Savannah Remkus, second team on the beam and floor.
The Redbirds are now waiting to see if any individual gymnasts qualify for the upcoming NCAA Regional meet on April 4-6.
The participants list will be announced Monday.