Illinois finish tied for third with Iowa in conference championship


Photo Courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Senior Kylie Noonan celebrates during the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships on Saturday. The Fighting Illini tied with Iowa for third place and finished with 196.625 points.

By Jonah Perez, Staff Writer

The battle for supremacy in the Big Ten conference came to an end. No. 7 Minnesota won the Big Ten conference championship with a score of 197.750. No. 16 Illinois took third, tying with regular season champion No. 18 Iowa with a score of 196.625.

It was a pretty good day for the Illini, they got their third highest score of the season. Their two higher scores were their record breaking 197.575 win against Minnesota last week, and their 196.650 loss against No. 3 Michigan earlier this season.

On vault, the Illini took fourth with a team score of 49.300. Sophomores Mia Takekawa and Mia Townes finished with a score of 9.900 earning sixth place out of 54 gymnasts.

For bars, Illinois earned a team score of 49.050 with sophomore Olivia O’Donnell earning the highest individual score for the Illini with 9.850.

With a team score of 48.925, Illinois took third on the beam. Junior Shaylah Scott finished highest for the Illini with a score of 9.825.

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Scott again, on floor this time, placed in the top five at No. 5 out of 54 women with a score of 9.925. Scott fell short of tying Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan for first whose scores were 9.950. Following close behind Scott was Townes, who received a score of 9.875 placing her in a five way tie for ninth place.

For the sixth time this season senior Nicole Biondi competed in the all-around event as the lone Illini. She scored a 39.275 putting her ninth out of 13.

It just wasn’t their day; other teams were able to make every point count. A silver lining, however, is the fight displayed by the team and how much their National Qualifying Score will improve. Getting your third highest score of the season will do it for you.

The NQS affects how everything is ranked and seeded, Illinois will find out their seeding and the location of their NCAA regional on Monday, March 29 at four p.m.

The Illini are just excited to compete at their South Central regional April 1-3.


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