Some nights your team is just on fire, and some nights the meet doesn’t even get off the ground. The former was the case for Illinois, which had such a good night for the team that it didn’t matter that it lost to Penn State. Illinois star Allison Buckley set a new school record in the all-around and the rest of the team performed quite well also.
“We had an unbelievable day with great performances on every event, so I really couldn’t ask for much more,” Illinois coach Bob Starkell told FightingIllini.com after the meet. “Both squads were on their game tonight, and this type of meet really prepares us for the postseason.”
At Towson, however, the meet was delayed by mother nature, in the form of heavy snows that have been blanketing the East Coast. Towson will try again to host its Liberty Classic Invitational Sunday night.
Here’s what else happened Saturday night in NCAA women’s gymnastics:
New Hampshire vs. Missouri @ Missouri: Missouri 195.125, New Hampshire 192.975. Weak vaults were part of the reason New Hampshire trailed Missouri by such a large margin at Mizzou’s annual “Beauty and the Beast” meet, which juxtaposes women’s gymnastics with men’s wrestling. The other reason: Missouri’s 1-2 punch of senior Sarah Shire and sophomore Mary Burke, who teamed up to sweep the first place finishes between them. Shire won the all-around (39.275), vault (9.825) and floor (9.9), while Burke was best on bars (9.8) and beam (9.8). (MUTigers.com)
Winona State vs. Hamline, Gustavus Adolphus, Minnesota @ Minnesota (Best of Minnesota): Minnesota 194.95, Winona State 178.725, Gustavus Adolphus 172.75, Hamline 167.8. Who’s the best gymnastics team in Minnesota? Why, Minnesota of course! And who was the best gymnast in Minnesota Saturday night? That would be U Minn senior Alexis Russell, who won the all-around (39.325), uneven bars (9.85), floor (9.875) and tied for the vault title with teammate Lucy Ennis (9.775, tied career best for Ennis). Minnesota’s Kristin Furukawa was the top scorer on beam (9.875). (NMNAthletics.com)
Ohio State vs. Iowa @ Iowa: Iowa 194.925, Ohio State 193.025. This one was all Iowa, all the time. The Hawkeyes went 1-2-3 in the all-around and won or shared first place on all four events. Becky Simbhudas was the top all-around gymnast (39.275), won vault (9.9) and tied for first on bars with Ohio State’s Taylor Jones (9.775). Jessa Hansen won beam (9.85) and Houry Gebashian was the top gymnast on floor (9.85). (HawkeyeSports.com)
UIC vs. Bowling Green State @ UIC: Bowling Green State 193.3, UIC 192.75. UIC’s Rachel Montoya captured the all-around title for the Flames (38.9) with a career high mark, and Chantel Turk helped UIC’s winning effort by taking first on vault (9.9). But Bowling Green didn’t leave empty-handed — Danielle Wishart won beam (9.825) and floor (9.875), while Breanne Guy was the high scorer on bars (9.775). (UICFlames.com)
Illinois vs. Penn State @ Penn State: Penn State 196.425, Illinois 196.275. Propelled by Allison Buckley’s school record breaking all-around score (39.575), Illinois came oh-so-close to beating the Nittany Lions, but Penn State senior Brandi Personett outdid Buckley in the all-around (39.6) to lead her team to the win. Buckley did win vault (9.9), Personett also captured beam (9.95) and shared the floor title with Illinois’s Sarah Schmidt (9.925). Penn State’s Natalie Ettl was the top gymnast on uneven bars (9.95). (FightingIllini.com)
Kent State vs. Southern Utah @ Southern Utah: Southern Utah 195.275, Kent State 193.625. Despite what was at least a good result for SUU, neither coach seemed terribly pleased with the results. TBirds coach Scott Bauman called the team “flat” and Kent State’s Brice Biggin described himself as “very disappointed” — “we are an underachieving team,” he added. One person who didn’t seem flat or disappointing was Southern Utah senior Elise Wheeler, who won the all-around (39.425) and won or tied for the individual titles on all four events. Wheeler and teammate Melissa Johnson won vault (9.875) and Kent State’s Lindsay Runyan tied SUU’s Wheeler, Alyssa Click and Bailey Baker for the top spot on bars (9.8s all around). Wheeler won beam (9.85) and floor (9.9) on her own. (SUUTBirds.com)
Here’s what’s happening tonight in NCAA women’s gymanstics:
Oregon State vs. Cal @ Cal
Washington vs. Stanford, Sacramento State, San Jose State @ Stanford
Air Force vs. Texas Women’s, Northern Illinois @ Texas Women’s
Temple vs. Penn, Wilson, Ursinus, Towson, West Chester @ Temple (Liberty Classic)
Eastern Michigan vs. Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Michigan State @ Western Michigan (Michigan Classic)
Boise State vs. Cal State Fullerton @ Cal State Fullerton
Cortland State vs. Springfield @ Springfield
Follow Gymnastics Examiner Blythe Lawrence on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GymExaminer.