Takekawa becomes first Illini to score perfect 10 on balance beam

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Takekawa becomes first Illini to score perfect 10 on balance beam

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

The Illinois women’s gymnastics team defeated Lindenwood and Temple in its first home meet of the season thanks to a historic performance from freshman Mia Takekawa. The No. 6 Illini scored 195.525, Lindenwood had 192.675 and Temple finished in third with a score of 192.550. Illinois improves to 4-0 on the season, marking the program’s best start since 2004.

Illinois began the meet on the vault, Lindenwood on the Balance Beam and Temple on the Uneven Bars.

Freshmen Takekawa and Arayah Simons led the Illini on vault with scores of 9.7500. Takekawa and Simons had scored 9.775 to the lead the Illini at Missouri Jan. 4.

After the first rotation, the Illini had a narrow lead, with 48.600 points to Temple’s 48.400. Lindenwood was solidly in third with a score of 38.275.

Illinois next went over to Uneven Bars, Lindenwood to Floor Exercise and Temple to the Balance Beam. Freshman Olivia O’Donnell and Takekawa led the Illini in Uneven Bars with a score of 9.875, which was the highest score of the evening.

Halfway through the meet, Illinois had expanded on its lead, with a score of 97.825 to Temple’s score of 96.200 and Lindenwood’s score of 95.800.

Illinois began the second half of the meet on Balance Beam, Lindenwood at Vault and Temple at Floor Exercise.

Illinois was ahead after the third rotation with 146.500, Lindenwood had 144.125 and Temple was in third with 143.975.

Takekawa won Balance Beam with a perfect 10.000 on the event, which is the first perfect score on Beam. She previously scored a 9.900 on Beam and was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week Wednesday.

To conclude the meet, Illinois went to Floor Exercise, Lindenwood at Uneven Bars and Temple went to Vault.

In Floor Exercise, Simons and junior Kylie Noonan led the Illini with scores of 9.875 and 9.850, respectively.

Illinois next opens its Big Ten schedule Jan. 18 against Michigan at Huff Hall.

 

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