Flames Top Illinois State in Final Home Meet

Senior Catherine Dion
Senior Catherine Dion

March 15, 2014

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CHICAGO – The UIC women’s gymnastics team registered its best score of the season in its last home meet on Saturday night with a 195.200-191.825 victory over Illinois State at the Physical Education Building. Catherine Dion, who was honored in a Senior Day presentation following the meet, won bars and floor, as redshirt-junior Kimberly Randall claimed first on vault and freshman Michelle Lozneanu took the Flames’ top score on beam.

"This is a great finish for us to get into conference next week with big performances all the way around," co-head coach Peter Jansson said. "195 is the mark that we have been chasing, and going into this week, we felt really good. A little wrench thrown in when we found out Citlali (Cuevas), an all-arounder, was not going to compete, so the whole team had to step up and fill those spots and they did an absolutely incredible job."

"We started out with very sharp vaults, we had a couple little mistakes on bars but also three of the best sets they have done in their lives with Kim (Randall), Gabby (May) and Catherine (Dion). It was a little tight on beam, but after a fall, the rest of the routines were solid, and they kept that momentum on floor."

Beginning the meet on vault, Randall, Dion and sophomore Alexandra Vedenin finished first (9.800), second (9.775) and third (9.750), respectively, to outscore the Redbirds, 48.600-47.225, on the event.

Onto bars, a collection of career bests were produced, beginning with Dion, who took first with 9.925, and followed by junior Gabrielle May with 9.900 for second and Randall with 9.850 for fourth.

Illinois State took first on beam, but Lozneanu scored a personal-best 9.850 for second and Dion came in a tie for third with 9.825. UIC ultimately posted their best score of the season on the event with 48.950.

The Flames closed out competition by taking the top four places on floor. Dion finished first with 9.825, as Vedenin and May tied for second with 9.800, a career high for Vedenin, and Randall collected fourth place with 9.775, a career best. UIC also came away with their best floor score of the season with 48.950.

Dion won the all-around with a final tally of 39.350, while May set a personal best with 39.075 for second and Vedenin competed on all four events for the first time and posted a 38.550.

"I can't say enough of our senior, Catherine Dion, and what she put out here today," added Jansson. "To add to it, she learned a new floor skill (a full twisting double back) of the absolute highest value during her senior year and finally got to perform."

The Flames will now prepare for the MIC Championships, set for next Saturday, March 22, at 4 p.m. CT at the Horton Field House in Normal, Ill.