'Hawks place second to MU

Monday, March 6, 2006

Missouri won the four-team Outback Invitational with a 195.550 total.

The University of Missouri showed area gymnastics fans why it is the nation's ninth-ranked collegiate team.

MU blistered the field in Sunday's Outback Invitational at the Show Me Center, running away with the title in the four-team meet.

The Tigers scored 195.550 points, followed by host Southeast Missouri State (191.975), Centenary (188.775) and Ball State (187.325).

"Missouri is very impressive," Southeast coach Tom Farden said. "They've got a great team."

Farden also liked the way the Redhawks performed as they turned in another solid score, coming on the heels of last weekend's season-high 193.050 total in a road meet.

"I thought our performance was awesome," Farden said. "The scores were not what we expected, but the kids stayed really focused. This is the first meet we haven't counted a fall."

Southeast's vault score of 48.775 tied for the fifth-best in school history.

While the Tigers finished first in every event -- including the all-around with a 39.100 by Adrienne Perry -- a young Southeast squad had several strong individual efforts.

Freshman Sandra Blake was third in the all-around (38.525), while sophomore Alison Ezell (38.350) and junior Brystol Powelski (38.300) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Powelski posted a career-high to place second on vault (9.825), while Blake also had a career high as she was third in that event (9.800).

Southeast honored its only two seniors Sunday, although both are currently out with injuries.

Tara Boldt, a two-time regional qualifier, has missed the entire season with a career-ending injury suffered prior to the campaign, while Amanda Grimes was hurt in the second meet, but Farden hopes to have her back soon.

"When Tara went down, it devastated the team," Farden said. "Hopefully we'll get Amanda back."

Farden was pleased that about 500 fans attended the Redhawks' only meet of the season at the Show Me Center.

"It's a great venue, and I thought we had a really good crowd," he said.

The Redhawks have three meets remaining, including hosting the Midwest Independent Championships March 25 at Houck Field House.

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