Tigers reverse trend on bars to set record

Jodie Heinicka’s 9.95 also set the MU individual record on bars.
Sunday, February 8, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:15 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Record-breaking performances on vault, beam and floor have defined Missouri’s season, but lagging scores on the uneven bars have cost Missouri two conference wins.

That changed Friday at the Cat Classic when sophomore Jodie Heinicka’s 9.95 led the Tigers to a 49.25 team score on bars, a Missouri record.

“It was a dream come true,” Heinicka said. “That was one of the best bar routines I’ve done in my entire life. I couldn’t really ask for too much more.”

Alisha Robinson won the individual bars title Saturday with a 9.875 on a night when the judges were reluctant to give high scores.

Missouri’s top three competitors seemed to equal their performance from the previous night, but the judges only gave Robinson the same score.

“I’m happy I won, but it wasn’t my best routine,” Robinson said. “I just try to go out and do what I do in practice, and that’s what I did tonight.”

Kelley Andersen (fifth) and Lindsey Davis (sixth) followed with 9.775s. Heinicka lost her grip while trying to stick a handstand during her finals routine and finished in 10th with a 9.20.

Heinicka said she was trying to improve on her record-breaking score from the day before.

“I just pulled it a little too much. I was going for the 10,” Heinicka said. “Tonight I didn’t have to worry about hitting for the team so I was really able to go all out.”

Heinicka’s 9.95 score Friday also broke the Missouri individual bars record and gave the Tigers the boost they needed to reach 197.350, the school’s highest team score.

“It was a complete team effort,” coach Rob Drass said. “We had standout performances from everyone tonight. When all those happen together, records fall.”

Missouri has set school records in all four events this season. Bars was the last piece in the puzzle the Tigers needed to put up an elite score.

“When we hit bars, that was the most adrenaline rush I’ve ever had because we haven’t hit bars all year,” Lauren Schwartzman said.

Drass said he knew that a high bar score was only a matter of time.

“Bars is maybe our best event potential-wise but we’ve really been shooting ourselves in the foot by not putting it all together,” Drass said.

Andrea Nervig had been leading the team on bars all season, but fell twice Friday and received an 8.65, the lowest score of the night.

“It’s upsetting because I never do that on bars,” Nervig said.

Robinson echoed her teammate’s thoughts.

“That was a fluke,” she said. “Drew (Nervig) never misses, and just think of what we would have got if Drew would have hit … we would have broken the record that much more.”

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