Despite personal records, women’s gymnastics falls to Iowa


Wenyuan Chen

Illinois’ head coach Kim Landrus talks to the team after the compete on four events 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

After back-to-back wins, the Illinois women’s gymnastics team dropped its match against Iowa on Saturday.

Iowa placed first, Illinois second and UIC third. The Illini recorded a few season-high scores, including its final score of 196.050.

“I think we had mixed results (Saturday),” head coach Kim Landrus said. “We had a lot of great performances. We had season-highs on vault and floor and a season-best overall team score. There were definitely several positive takeaways, but we are competing in a perfection-based sport.”

Illini Lizzy LeDuc shined through the loss, earning two event titles on the floor and in the all-around. LeDuc now holds four all-around titles this season.

The first rotation for the Illini was the bars. Sarah Lyons, Mary Jane Horth, and Rae Balthazor all scored high for the team, tallying 9.800. Following them were LeDuc and Karen Howell with 9.775 each.

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The team was trailing the Hawkeyes going into the second rotation.

LeDuc led the Illini on the balance beam, scoring a 9.850. Bridget Hodan tallied a 9.800. Howell, Haylee Roe and Brielle Nguyen each scored a 9.775.

Illinois ended the rotation still trailing.

LeDuc then led the Illini on the floor, earning 9.875. Erin Buchanan tied her season-high of 9.825, while Howell marked her career-high with the same score. Nguyen added another 9.825 with her floor routine, and Roe finished off the rotation for the Illini with a 9.775.

The Illini continued to set personal-records in their final rotation. LeDuc and Horth each tallied season-bests with a score of 9.850. Buchanan and Lyons hit the vault with success as they tallied 9.725. Balthazor, after a decent finish against UIC, tied her career-high of 9.750.

The Illini recorded a season-high 48.900 by the end of the rotation.

Howell also had a great meet, hitting another career-best 39.075 in the all-around competition.

Landrus said the Illini have tiny errors that need to be worked on before the team hosts the Michigan State for senior night Friday at Huff Hall.

“We gave away a lot of little tenths here and there,” Landrus said. “We need to get back in the gym to chase after those tenths.”

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