Illinois women’s gymnastics falls against Michigan


Wenyuan Chen

Illinois’ Lizzy LeDuc performs a routine on the floor during the State of Illinois Classic at Huff Hall on Saturday, March 5, 2015. The Illini claimed victory for the ninth consecutive year with a total of 195.425 over Northern Illinois (194.225), UIC(192.625) and Illinois State (191.500).

By Danielle Williams, Staff writer

The Illinois women’s gymnastics team fell to rival Michigan 197.050 to 195.300 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this weekend.

Earlier this week, head coach Kim Landrus said that the team needed to worry about the things that they can control, but the Wolverines’ skill seemed to outmatch the Illini’s.

Freshman Karen Howell took second place in the all-around competition with a season-high score of 38.225.

Despite Howell’s strong performance, the Illini had a shaky start in the first rotation.

Howell fell off during her first attempt at the uneven bars, which deducted points from her final score.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Mary Jane Horth, who scored a 9.850, was the only Illini to score in the top five spots for the uneven bars, tying with two other gymnasts from Michigan. Erin Buchanan was just behind with a 9.625.

“I was really proud of how the team started the competition,” Landrus said. “We had a mistake on bars, and they responded extremely well.”

In the second rotation, the team stepped up their game but still fell short to Michigan by .350 points.

Horth, Sarah Lyons and Lizzy LeDuc all earned a 9.750 on vault, putting them in fourth place. Howell and Buchanan each added a 9.700 and Rae Balthazor scored a 9.675.

Michigan kept a steady lead in the third rotation with a score of 147.600 over the Illini’s 146.300 points. LeDuc led the Illini on the floor, scoring a 9.825 — good enough for fourth. Following LeDuc were Bridget Hodan and Brielle Nguyen with 9.775 points each. Buchanan, Howell, and Haylee Roe all added 9.750 to the team score.

Illinois finished the balance beam — the final rotation — with a 49.000 to add to its final score, 195.300.

Leduc took the lead as the only other Illini to place in the top three, scoring 9.850. Hodan scored 9.825 to take fourth place. Horth tallied a 9.800 and following behind her were teammates Howell with 9.775, Nguyen with a 9.750 and Roe with a 9.725.

“After two sub-par events, they bounced back on beam and had six stellar performances,” Landrus said. “To me, that says a lot about their character.”

The team will take on Penn State at home next Sunday for its annual Pink Meet.

[email protected]