Illinois women’s gymnastics heads home for Pink Meet


Wenyuan Chen

Illinois’ Bridget Hodan performs a routine on the balance beam 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 will host its annual Pink Meet against Penn State at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Huff Hall.

Last season, the Illini defeated the Nittany Lions by .700, and Illinois won three titles. Former Illini Sunny Kato and sophomore Lizzy LeDuc shared the beam title, and senior Mary Jane Horth won the all-around.

If the team repeats history with its conference rival, this will be Illinois’ first Big Ten victory this season.

The team did not perform as it had hoped last weekend against Michigan, but several gymnasts said they know what they need to fix.

Junior Bridget Hodan said floor and beam are both her strength and weakness.

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“The floor is about just being as clean as I can because my tumbling is there,” Hodan said. “I do a lot of intricate turns that are unique. It’s just about cleaning that up and making sure my performance is precise as can be. Perfecting the balance beam is just about detail.”

Other team members said they were more concerned with the final touches that can be added into their routines.

“As a team, we’re probably going to do a mock meet, just to get those pressure sets in,” Horth said. “When you’re a little nervous and under pressure, you don’t perform as hard, or you perform too hard. On bars, I need to practice on the little details that I need to fix. For vault, I have lots of landing work to work on. Each gymnast has little corrections that they need to change.”

Although Head Coach Kim Landrus said she is pleased with how well her team has done so far, she said she is expecting more from a team that she feels can do big things this season.

“On vault and floor, we need to work on our landings and amplitude,” Landrus said.

“They need to do better, and they can do better. We just need to dig a little deeper and find ways to make sure that we don’t give the judges any room to deduct points.”

Landrus added that the little details are the most important to clean up.

“Overall, we have to look more into our performances and get cleaner,” Landrus said.

“We’re such a detail-orientated sport which we have to make sure the details are there. If we can do that, then the judges will recognize it, and we will get the scores to walk out of Huff in a great mood.”

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