COLUMBIA — After a massive winter storm prevented the Missouri gymnastics team from traveling to snow-covered Georgia. It might have helped the previously-struggling Tigers pick up a couple victories.
After Winter Storm Pax altered its travel plans for the weekend, Missouri came out winners on Friday night by taking first in the GymQuarters Invitational at the Family Arena in St. Charles.
The Tigers were originally scheduled to compete at Georgia, but inclement weather down South caused the coaches to mutually decide to cancel the meet.
Instead, the Tigers traveled in-state, earning convincing wins against lower-level competition.
Illinois State and Division II Lindenwood were the other two squads at the meet. Missouri posted a team score of 194.050. Lindenwood took second with a score of 190.925, and Illinois State finished with a score of 190.175. Because the Tigers finished higher than both teams, two wins will be added to Missouri's record. The squad is now 3-4 after starting the season 0-4.
The Tigers' score probably would not have been strong enough to defeat Georgia, a perennial gymnastics powerhouse which has scored more than 196 in every meet this season. But against Illinois State and Lindenwood, their performances were plenty good enough.
As a team, the Tigers took first in every event, with high scores on the vault and floor exercise in particular. The team's score of 48.700 on vault tied for their second highest in that routine this year. The floor exercise score of 48.725 marks the third consecutive meet Missouri has scored over 48.700 in the event.
Missouri junior Rebecca Johnson won her first individual event of the season with a score of 9.850 on the uneven bars. The score was a personal best for Johnson, who spent all of last year sidelined with an injury.
Rachel Updike scored well again for the Tigers a week after taking first in every event in a meet against Southeast Missouri State. She took home individual honors in vault, floor and the balance beam. Her all-around score of 38.450 also took first at the meet.
Supervising editor is Mark Selig.