Junior Rachel Updike took home event titles on all four events and the all-around
Feb. 7, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Gymnastics team joined forces with the Missouri Wrestling program Friday evening in front of 3,053 fans at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. The popular Beauty and the Beast meet saw gymnastics take a 194.125 - 190.900 victory over the visiting SEMO Redhawks.
Missouri began the evening on vault for their first rotation. Fresh off her banner night last week at NC State, junior Laura Kappler started things off well with a 9.750 score. Freshman Angie Kern followed with a solid score of her own, and posted a 9.725. Junior Rachel Updike continued the scoring trend for the Tigers, with a 9.850 score. After the first rotation in Columbia, Mo. the Tigers led 48.425 to 48.200.
Up next for Missouri was their second rotation on bars. Sophomore Blair Elmore was in the leadoff spot for the Tigers and began with a 9.700 score. Fellow sophomore Miranda Eubank delivered next with a 9.725. Updike followed Eubank, and continued her strong start after tallying a 9.825 score. Junior Rebecca Johnson anchored the Tigers bars lineup and matched her personal best with a 9.800. After the midway point, Missouri remained on top with a 97.125 to 96.650 team total.
The third rotation saw the Tigers head to beam, while the visiting SEMO Redhawks moved to floor. Freshman Alyson Heimsath got Missouri back on track after an early slip-up, and posted a strong 9.700 score. Freshman Sasha Sander followed her teammate with a solid score of her own, and tallied a 9.750. Updike rounded out the Tigers effort on beam, and recorded a 9.775 score. Heading into the fourth and final rotation, Missouri remained on top with a 145.150 to 143.600 advantage.
Floor has proven to be the team's most successful event the past two weeks, and the Tigers looked to continue that trend against the Redhawks. Heimsath began the rotation with a 9.775, which tied her previous career-high last set vs. Kentucky earlier this season. Junior Bri Conkle was up third for Missouri, and came away with a 9.700 score. Kern followed up her solid vault earlier, with an impressive 9.800 for the Tigers. Updike concluded another outstanding all-around night for Missouri, and tallied a 9.900 score. Freshman Anna Bowers ended the gymnastics portion of the Beauty and the Beast with yet another solid anchor floor routine. After Bowers' score of 9.800, the Tigers finished with an event total of 48.975.
Updike would end up having an outstanding all-around effort Friday night against SEMO, as the junior picked up all four event titles in addition to the top honors in the all-around. The five total first place finishes moved her season total to nine.
The Tigers return to conference play in the SEC next Friday (Feb. 14), with a road trip to Athens, Ga. to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. Competition begins at 6:30 p.m. CT inside the Stegeman Coliseum.
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