Illinois State wins MIC Championship in final routine of the night

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The 2023 Midwest Independent Conference Championship ended with the final routine of the evening to decide which team would win the trophy and thanks to a floor clutch performance from Jaye Mack, State from Illinois clinched the MIC title with a program-record score of 196.375 Friday night at Houck Field House on Missouri’s Southeast State campus.

Breakdown of scores:
• State of Illinois: 196,375
• Linden: 196,275
• Southeastern Missouri State: 195,525
• Texas woman: 194,900
• Centenary: 188,875

Thoughts from Head Coach Bob Conkling:
“From the moment the team stepped on the floor to the jump, they were zoned and focused on winning this championship. They knew every tenth was going to count in this competition and they took advantage of every opportunity they had. they had. The jump was amazing and we blocked the last two routines. We went to the bars and did well, then headed to the beam, where the team posted their best score of the year. We knew that if we got to the floor on the last rotation, we would have a chance to win, and to their credit, they held on and pulled off an impressive win. To win a conference championship, it takes everybody, even the gymnasts not competing, be there to support their teammates and keep the energy going. It was a team effort all the way tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff.

Team Notes:
• The Redbirds got off to a terrific start, scoring 49.250 on vault in the first rotation to quickly take the lead… the score is the second-highest in school history, narrowly surpassing the previous season’s record of the team of 49.225 set at the quad meet in New Hampshire.
• After the bye, ISU posted a bar score of 48.750 to stay in the hunt with a current score of 98.000 just behind SEMO which had a 98.150 after its own bye.
• In what has been a tough event for the Redbirds at times throughout the year, the Redbirds posted a season-high team score of 49.050 on beam to increase their score to 147.050 heading into the final rotation .
• The Redbirds saved their best drill of the night for last as they scored 49.325 on the ground to narrowly edge Lindenwood for the conference title.
• The MIC title is the Redbirds’ first since 2012 and the second for head coach Bob Conkling in his tenure with the Redbirds.

Gymnast Notes:
• Sophomore Alana Laster took the all-around crown, scoring a career-best 39.350 to finish in first place just ahead of Lindenwood’s Riley Daniels.
• Senior Angelica Labat recorded a career-high jump score of 9.950 to win the individual title in this event, with Labat just behind in second place with a 9.900 to claim First-Team All-MIC honors and rookie Nirel Bart-Williams also earned first-team honors to tie for third with a 9.850.
• For the second consecutive season, sophomore Jaye Mack won the individual championship on floor with a score of 9.925 and Kaitlyn Donovan also finished on the first team podium with a third place finish with a career best 9.875.
• Freshman Joy Ziegenfelder had a strong performance in her first conference meet, as she tied for the event title on beam with a career-best score of 9.900.
• Sara Wabi has won two All-MIC First Team titles, with a second place on bars scoring 9.825 and a tie for third place on beam scoring 9.850. and the Illinois State Redbirds App: Your sources for Illinois State tickets, Weisbecker Athletic Fund giveaways, media, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.


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