Missouri gymnastics takes first win at Beauty and the Beast meet

Friday, February 7, 2014 | 10:12 p.m. CST; updated 10:54 p.m. CST, Friday, February 7, 2014
Wrestlers and gymnasts shared the floor of Hearnes Center on Friday for the annual Beauty and the Beast meet.

COLUMBIA — A potent energy piped through an aging Hearnes Center on Friday night as a season-high crowd of 3,053 watched Missouri gymnastics notch its first victory of the season over the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at the Beauty and the Beast meet. 

The final score was 194.125 to 190.900.

On the other end of the floor, the Missouri wrestling team also took home a victory with a 41 to 0 drubbing of Buffalo.

The Tigers led wire-to-wire in gymnastics, taking a slight lead after opening on the vault. For the fifth consecutive meet, Rachel Updike led Missouri in the event, taking first place with a score of 9.850. Laura Kappler took second in the event with a score of 9.750.

On the uneven bars, the Tigers extended their lead with stellar performances from Updike and Becca Johnson. Updike earned her fifth win of the season with a 9.825 on the bars, while Johnson tied her season best with a score of 9.800 – good for second in the event.

The Tigers kept the lead through their lowest-scoring event of the night, the balance beam, before finishing on the floor exercise with a score of 48.975.

It was a banner night for Updike, who took home first place honors in every event. Her all-around score of 39.350 is the highest for the Tigers this season.

As a team, Missouri finished first and second in all four events and took the top six spots on the floor. The team score of 194.125 was third highest for the Tigers this season.

The fact that it occurred just across the floor from a wrestling meet didn’t seem to faze the team.

“Some of the freshmen didn’t even notice (the wrestling meet) was going on,” Updike said. “We fed off some of the energy from the wrestling crowd, but we were pretty focused on our events.”

“We love the crowd,” head coach Shannon Welker said. “If we could fit a volleyball court in there as well, we’d do it.”

Supervising editor is Wade Livingston

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