Results (Illinois & ISU) Results (UK)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Almost two weeks after shattering their beam record, the No. 22 Illini broke their floor record with a 49.575 mark in a 196.800 finish against No. 12 Kentucky and Illinois State Saturday afternoon in Huff Hall on Senior Day.
The previous floor record was a 49.500, made by the 2009 team at the Big Ten Championships.
“We actually set out this week to make some intentional changes on floor,” head coach Nadalie Walsh said. “It means a lot to me to know that these ladies are going in the record books and the athletes after them are going to strive to break their record and they definitely deserve it. These were some really great floor routines and great performances all around.”
The Wildcats took first place in the meet with a 197.800 with Illinois State taking third with a 193.850.
The Illini started the tri meet off on vault with Mia Townes grabbing the top spot with a 9.85 while three other Illini – Makayla Green, Ruthuja Nataraj and Julia Waight, all scored a 9.80. In an exhibition spot, Mia Takekawa secured a 9.825.
Onto bars, Kaitlyn Ewald tied her season-high with a 9.875, with Ameila Knight securing the same score the first time in the lineup. Mallory Mizuki scored a 9.825 with fellow senior Rachel Borden scoring a 9.80.
Takekawa continued her success on beam, securing a 9.925 with Mizuki grabbing a 9.875. Both Abby Mueller and Townes collected the same score, tallying a 9.85.
Takekawa started the electric performance off on floor, scoring a 9.875, with Waight and Nataraj securing a 9.90. Fitzgibbon went on to shatter her career-high with a 9.925, with Townes closing it out with the same score.
This was the final Huff Hall meet for eight seniors – Borden, McKenzie Eddy, Mizuki, Olivia O’Donnell, Takekawa, Townes and Waight, and one student manager, Lexi Powe.
“All of my athletes mean the world to me,” Walsh said. “But with the seniors – when it gets close to the end it’s always emotional. The true senior class in particular was my first recruiting class so there’s that special moment of saying, ‘you believed in me from the beginning and you’ve come and made a huge difference.’
I’m just so grateful for all these young ladies and to have Rachel and Mallory stay extra years and to even have Lexi Powe, even though she had to medically retire, stay and be a manager. No one transferred out from this senior class, and I’m just so very proud to help raise them and get to see them spread their wings and fly. I think they’re all ready for what life has for them next. But first, we have Big Tens and the rest of the postseason.”
The Big Ten Championships are next for the Illini on March 18 in Iowa City, Iowa at 11 a.m. CT.
|Vault||Kentucky – 49.400 | Illinois State – 49.125 | Illinois 49.000|
|Uneven Bars||Kentucky – 49.450 | Illinois – 49.050 | Illinois State – 48.025|
|Balance Beam||Kentucky – 49.375 | Illinois – 49.225 | Illinois State 47.275|
|Floor Exercise||Kentucky – 49.575 | Illinois 49.525 | Illinois State 49.425|