Southeast gymnasts debut with victory

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Southeast Missouri State gymnastics team featured the top two finishers in the all-around competition as it won its season-opening meet Sunday at Illinois State, defeating the Redbirds 191.725 to 191.525.

Junior Rikara Turner placed first in the all-around with a 38.675 total, while senior Sandra Blake followed with a 38.275.

Sophomore Amanda Schoenbaum turned in the lone first-place finish for the Redhawks when she finished in a three-way tie in the balance beam at 9.775.

"We would have liked to take all four events, and perform like we know we can in practice, but we had some first-meet jitters," Southeast coach Tom Farden said. "You hope to do better, but it's always nice to open with a win."

The Redhawks posted their highest team score in the balance beam with a 48.350, followed by the floor exercise (48.175), vault (48.150) and balance beam (47.050).

Farden was not entirely pleased with the 191.725 total.

"It was a little low," Farden said. "We had a little trouble on the balance beam. But we use the first meet for our opening score and to dip our feet in the water, and the next meet we try to make traction."

Southeast returns to action Friday in a three-team meet with LSU and host Iowa.

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