Gymnastics team hosts Illinois State for the first meet of the season

UAA’s gymnastics team finally had their first competition of the season this past weekend, hosting Illinois State University.

Isabelle Fox competed in all four events on both Friday and Sunday which earned the team 76.950 points in total. Photo credit: Skip Hickey
Isabelle Fox competed in all four events on both Friday and Sunday which earned the team 76.950 points in total. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

What should’ve been their second meet became their first after the annual Green and Gold meet was canceled last month due to damage from the 7.0 earthquake.

The extra time off, however, did have a few upsides.

“Practice has been really fun over the break,” Alonso said. “It’s nice to be all together because sometimes during the semester people have to come early or leave early because of classes, but right now everyone is in the gym at the same time, which is great. We’re able to spend more time together both in and out of the gym, making our team a lot closer.”

Competing for the first time in over a year, junior Louisa Marie Knapp is feeling more confident than ever about her and the team’s performances.

“My last competition was in March 2017, and I have had six surgeries since then, so I am just very excited to get back on the competition floor and help my team to succeed,” Knapp said. “In Germany, I competed on the international elite level which is very different from college gymnastics…I learned a lot over the past two years and I am excited to hopefully show my full potential this season.”

UAA kicked off the weekend with a 4.25 point loss against the visiting team despite their best efforts to come out on top.

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Isabelle Fox competed in all four events and had the highest score in both vault, 9.625, and floor, 9.800.

Sophia Hyderally placed first among the other UAA gymnasts with her bar routine, which resulted in a score of 9.700, only .050 behind the highest scorer overall from ISU, 9.750.

Hope Nelson had a similarly high score for the UAA gymnasts with her beam routine, in which she scored 9.750.

Although these scores sound nearly perfect, ISU had a higher score in every category except for floor.

After one day off, the two teams came together on Jan. 6 for the second half of their meet. As always, the gymnastics team started the meet with their usual ritual.

“A little ritual out team does before meets is we’ll hold hands in a circle before we walk out and say a quick prayer,” Alonso said. “If we are at a home meet, we’ll gather around the Seawolf logo on the floor and put a foot on it.”

Part two of the meet against ISU had similar standings for the vault routines, as every gymnast scored above nine points.

UAA improved their overall score for the bar routine portion, which put them ahead by 2.575 points halfway through the meet. They continued that momentum to the end and led to their first win of the season.

When compared to their first score on Friday of 188.725, UAA improved by 3.625 points on Friday, which made the final score 192.350.

ISU fell short in the second meet with a final score of 189.275.

UAA competed against Brown University at the Alaska Airlines Center the first weekend before school began with some success against Brown.