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MU gymnastics defeats Southern Utah despite lowered team score

Friday, February 25, 2011 | 9:56 p.m. CST; updated 3:17 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 26, 2011
Missouri freshman gymnast Cathryn Aliceaacosta jumps and poses during her balance beam routine against Southern Utah on Friday. Aliceaacosta's score was 9.675. MU won with a score of 194.925 to 193.750.

 COLUMBIA — MU gymnastics took home a win over Southern Utah, despite having the lowest team score in four meets. 

Veterans junior May Burke and sophomore Sandra Ostad both missed on the bars, earning 9.35 and 9.05 respectively. 

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"You'll have an off day sometimes. Bars and floor just weren't there for me," Burke said. "It was mental for me."

Burke was named last week's Big 12 Gymnast of the Week for the fourth week this season. 

"Our problems tonight were an anomaly," coach Rob Drass said. "A lot of them came from veterans, and I don't expect them to return."

Alex Gold is a top 16 finalist for the American Athletic Inc. Award. Falling off the beam, the senior scored a 9.05.

Despite problems, the team rebounded with three individual career-highs.

Sophomore Tori Howard scored a career high 9.875 on her floor routine.

"I just knew I was going to hit that performance," Howard said. "I was able to pull it all together tonight."

On bars freshman Taylor Medrea earned a career-high 9.825 and tied her career-high on floor with a 9.7.

Competing in only her third meet, freshman Cathryn Aliceaacosta scored a career-high 9.625 on vault.

In Aliceaacosta's first meet against Illinois she competed in only one event. Last week against Oklahoma she increased to three events, and competed in three events again against Southern Utah.

"I went from cheering to competing," Aliceaacosta said. "I was nervous at first, but it's become more fun than nerve racking."

Drass saw improvement in the team handling adversity. 

"The positive side is that when we have issues, we're closer to a 195 than a 193, like we would have been before," Drass said. "We had trouble and we came back stronger."

Gold earned the top All-Around position for MU with 38.35, but finished third to Southern Utah's Ariel Lamb, 38.95, and Lauren Jeffrey, 38.625.

The Tigers finished with a final score of 194.925 over Southern Utah's 193.75.


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