Women's Gymnastics Conquers Cardinals

Jackie Jaworowicz turned in a courageous effort on Saturday, battling the flu to win her first all-around crown.
Jackie Jaworowicz turned in a courageous effort on Saturday, battling the flu to win her first all-around crown.

Feb. 14, 2004

Chicago, Ill.- It was a day of breakthrough performances for the University of Illinois at Chicago women's gymnastics team on Saturday as Jackie Jaworowicz's first all-around title highlighted the Flames' finest performance of 2004, a 195.050-192.100 win over Ball State at the UIC Physical Education Building.

The victory was the second straight for UIC (2-8), who took three of four events to down the Cardinals (4-4) in convincing fashion.

Jaworowicz was outstanding in every event on Saturday. The junior, who had never competed as an all-arounder prior to this season, took first in the all-around with a final tally of 39.275. Jaworowicz set personal bests in the vault (9.750), the uneven bars (9.725) and the balance beam (9.900), taking first on the beam en route to the title.

UIC Co-Head Coaches Peter and Mary Jansson were unsure Jaworowicz would even compete at all on Saturday due to a bad case of the flu, but Jaworowicz gutted it out for an inspiring performance.

The Flames swept the top three spots in three of the four individual event rankings, highlighted by a vault victory by Veronique Meunier, Alyson Cacciatore's wins on the uneven bars and the floor exercise, and Jaworowicz's beam title.

As a team UIC grabbed the vault (48.775), the uneven bars (48.975) and the floor exercise (49.225), only dropping the beam to Ball State by a 48.550-48.075 count.

"I was very happy," said Peter Jansson. "We performed the way we should on three of four events, and on beam we performed the way we should on three of six events."

Saturday's 195.050 was a season-high team score for the Flames.

"With the falls (taken into account), we know we're capable of the 196s," said Jansson.



The Flames also recieved personal bests from Jessie Jaworowicz on the beam (9.775), Jamie Grabowski on the vault (9.625), and career-highs for Cacciatore (9.925) and Rachael Zelinski (9.825) on the floor.

Ball State was led by Jessica Surridge, who turned in a second-place finish in the all-around, and Courtney Vojtasek, who was the only Cardinal to finish in the Top Three of a single event with a third-place uneven bars performance at 9.800.

Saturday's meet was not only marked by Valentine's Day. UIC celebrated Senior Day by saluting outgoing seniors Megan Fey and Grabowski at the end of their win.

Overall, Peter Jansson was impressed with what he saw from his squad after a slow start early in the campaign.

"We took a huge step forward today," said Jansson.

UIC is back in action next Friday, February 20th as they hit the road for the first of four straight away meets with a battle against host Illinois State and visiting Iowa in Normal, Ill. starting at 7 p.m.