Women's Gymnastics Claims Fourth Straight Midwest Independent Conference Championship
March 25, 2005
Denton, Texas- It was a close meet of nail-biting proportions until the end, but for the fourth consecutive season the University of Illinois at Chicago women's gymnastics team proved to be the best team in their conference as the Flames captured the 2005 Midwest Independent Conference Championship at the title meet hosted by Texas Woman's University on Friday night.
UIC posted a 194.200 to take first. Right behind the Flames were the host Pioneers with a 194.125 and Centenary with a 194.100. Southeast Missouri State placed fourth with a 193.500, while Illinois State rounded out the field with a 192.650.
Leading the Flames was Midwest Independent Co-Athlete of the Year Jennifer O'Neil. O'Neil lead UIC in the all-around with a second-place performance of 38.975, the end result of a strong meet that featured a second-place showing on vault with a 9.825 and a sixth-place ranking on uneven bars (9.675).
Alyson Cacciatore executed one of her best vaults of the year that scored a 9.850 and earned her the event title. Cacciatore also placed second on bars with a 9.775 to earn all-conference accolades in both vault and bars on the year. The senior from Glenview, Ill., led UIC on floor exercise with a 9.775.
Jackie Jaworowicz led the way on beam for UIC, tying for third with a 9.875. Jaworowicz also placed fifth with a 9.850.
UIC was represented well in the Midwest Independent postseason awards. O'Neil, the Flames' most consistent all-arounder who competed in every event at every meet, earned the conference's Athlete of the Year award along with SEMO's Tara Boldt. Jackie Jaworowicz claimed the conference's Senior of the Year accolades thanks to another solid all-around year, while freshman Ashley Howe shared Newcomer of the Year recognition. With an outstanding regular season in the books, UIC co-head coaches Peter and Mary Jansson were honored as the Midwest Independent Conference's Head Coaches of the Year.
This year's conference title marked ther first time in school history that the Flames have won their league title for four consecutive seasons.
After taking care of their business on Friday, UIC will learn its NCAA postseason fate later this weekend as the Flames await results from around the country that effect their ranking in the South Central Region.
2005 MIDWEST INDEPENDENT AWARD WINNERS Athlete of the Year - Jennifer O'Neil (UIC) and Tara Boldt (SEMO) Senior Athlete of the Year - Jackie Jaworowicz (UIC) Newcomer of the Year - Allison Ezell (SEMO) and Ashley Howe (UIC) Assistant Coach of the Year - Jackie Fain (TWU) Head Coaches of the Year - Peter and Mary Jansson (UIC)