Otahkians look for a step up in season's first home meet

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Southeast Missouri State University's gymnastics team won its season opener without performing all that well.

But coach Patty Stotzheim says it will take a much better effort to beat Illinois State when the Otahkians have their first home meet today. Action begins at 2 p.m. at Houck Field House.

"Illinois State has been strong the past two years, and they probably will be strong once again," Stotzheim said. "If we can get a victory over Illinois State, that would be huge. It would be a good sign."

The Otahkians opened their season last Sunday with a 188.575 to 187.925 victory over Centenary in Shreveport, La.

Junior Ashley Godwin, who qualified for the regional event last year, won the all-around title, finishing ahead of teammate Amy Cole, a senior who was second.

Southeast's other event win came from sophomore Alexis Traylor in the floor exercise.

Godwin finished second in three events: vault, bars and floor.

"It wasn't a real good meet for us. We had three falls on floor and four on beam, but I was pleased with bars and vault," Stotzheim said. "But I'm not too concerned about it. It was our first meet of the season, and we used a lot of our first-year athletes.

"I expect to have a much better meet at home. All the athletes really like competing at home, and we're looking forward to the first meet. Hopefully we'll have a good crowd."

Illinois State won its first meet of the season, rolling past Wisconsin-La Crosse 192.075 to 179.225.

"Illinois State had a really good score in their first meet, and they will be hard to beat," Stotzheim said. "But our gymnasts are looking forward to the challenge."

mmishow@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 132

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