`Birds Head South to Take on Centenary College
Senior co-captain Amanda Candler
Senior co-captain Amanda Candler

Jan. 31, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State gymnastics team (2-1) will travel south on Friday to Shreveport, La., where it will compete against fellow Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) rival Centenary College (2-1). The meet is set to begin at 7 p.m. The trip will wrap up a three-meet road stretch for the Redbirds.

The freshmen duo of Erica Schick and Hannah Deutsch are helping the `Birds make big strides. Schick and Deutsch have placed at the top of their respective events in the past two meets. Deutsch's performance against Ball State was enough to get her a nomination for MIC Gymnast of the Week, and Schick competed in her first collegiate all-around on Jan. 25.

Junior co-captain Meaghan Koshman performed more flawless routines at Southeast Missouri State. Senior co-captain Amanda Candler is continuing her consistency on the uneven bars and floor routine.

The `Birds look to continue building on their consistency between the events. At Centenary the gymnasts hope to perform equally flawless routines and maintain consistency in their scores. Last week, the team performed well on every event except the balance beam where they struggled to stay on the beam.

Head coach Bob Conkling feels that if his team can maintain consistency on all events, that they will be a strong team and tough competitor.

"I think we can be a 194.00 point-plus team if we go 4-for-4 events without counting a fall," said Conkling. "This score is there for the taking if the team keeps it together throughout an entire competition and hits the routines they are capable of doing. My expectations are high for Friday because the team is well prepared to compete and has shown good consistency over the past week in workouts."



The Redbirds go into Friday's meet leading the conference on the uneven bars with an average score of 48.442. Candler, Deutsch and Koshman hold the lead in individual rankings in the conference for uneven bars, balance beam and vault.

The Redbirds split their two contests with Centenary last season with a win at home and a loss on the road.