March 21, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC women’s gymnastics team will make the short trip to Normal, Ill., to face Centenary, host Illinois State, Lindenwood, Southeast Missouri and Texas Woman’s at the MIC Championships on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT at Redbird Arena. The Flames will look to repeat last season’s performance, as they came away with their 12th conference title.
UIC is coming off of its final regular-season meet on March 15, when it produced its best score of the season en route to a 195.200-191.825 victory over Illinois State. The Flames came away with first place on each event, with redshirt-junior Kimberly Randall winning vault (9.800), freshman Michelle Lozneanu picking up beam (9.850) with a career high and senior Catherine Dion taking bars (9.925) with a personal best, floor (9.825) and the all-around (39.350).
Heading into the conference meet, UIC will be led by Dion, who is a seven-time Gymnast of the Week selection this season and holds the best average in the MIC on bars (9.855), beam (9.845), floor (9.840) and in the all-around (39.300), and Randall, who is placed second on vault (9.820).
Collectively, the Flames own the best qualifying average among their opponents on vault, bars and floor, while they sit at second on beam. Among team totals, Texas Woman’s leads with its 194.010 RQS average, followed closely behind by UIC with 193.980 and SEMO with 193.835, then Lindenwood (192.175), Illinois State (192.055) and Centenary (189.500).
Texas Woman’s collected a 12-8 record this season, going 3-2 in the conference, and is back in action after placing third in a pair of tri meets to end the season. Bethany Larimer owns the best average in the MIC on vault with 9.830, as Brittainy Johnson holds the Pioneers’ top average on bars (9.805) and beam (9.800) and Brittany Montalbano leads on floor (9.775).
SEMO went 11-8 during the regular season, with seven wins over conference opponents, and is coming off a win against Illinois State with its best score (195.025) of the season. Leading the Redhawks through competition is Bailey Walker on vault (9.780) and floor (9.740), Taryn Vanderpool on bars (9.815), Alyssa Tucker on beam (9.740) and all-around (38.790).
Lindenwood produced an 8-10 season record and split in the MIC by going 3-3. The Lions concluded regular-season competition with a loss at Illinois after picking up two wins against Alaska Anchorage. Rachel Zabawa has produced the best vault (9.810) and floor (9.790), while Courtney Heise leads on bars (9.805), Alicia Floyd on beam (9.735) and Emily Turik in the all-around (38.355).
Illinois State recorded three wins this season and enters competition after falling to UIC and SEMO. Samantha King has guided the Redbirds this season and owns the best average on vault (9.710), beam (9.800) and all-around (38.630), while Jenna Bossle holds a 9.800 average on bars and Sarah Fisher leads with 9.745 on floor.
Centenary has one win on the season against Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is returning after placing third in three-consecutive tri meets. Robyn Price has the top averages on vault (9.705), bars (9.580), beam (9.705) and all-around (38.245), while Stephanie Strickler has come in with a 9.735 average on floor.
During the 2013 MIC Championships, UIC took first with 195.425 followed by Illinois State with second (195.425), SEMO with third (195.050), Texas Woman’s with fourth (194.775), Lindenwood with fifth (193.050) and Centenary with sixth (192.900).