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ISU Gymnastics Looks Toward a Full Weekend in Missouri

Written by on February 18, 2022

NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State Gymnastics is coming off a split from their last weekend, where they completed two meets against Northern Illinois. They face a similar challenge this weekend, with a pair of meets in the Gymquarters Invitational.

The meet features the Redbirds as well as Iowa State, Southeast Missouri and Lindenwood on Friday. The ‘Birds will stay in Town until Sunday to compete again against Lindenwood. Back-to-back weekends with multiple meets means a change in preparation, according to Head Coach Bob Conkling.

“We had a very light workout Monday . . . and we just did a run-through, they did a bar routine, they did a vault,” said Conkling. “That just staves off the pounding on their bodies and keeps them fresh for the meet, and keeps them confident.”

Another storyline to watch for this weekend is freshman Alana Laster, coming off a week in which she earned MIC Newcomer of the Week and Performance of the Week honors.

“She did well in the all-around, and on Sunday she did the best vault this year that she has done,” said Conkling. “She worked really hard on eliminating the deductions in her routines and I think her confidence bubble has really jumped in the last few weeks.”

For the coaching staff, the focus this week is still on balance beam, as that has been the event where coach Conkling says the team has been the most shaky the last two weeks. Practice time on Monday, he said, was spent on full routines, while other events were just tweaked in the little details.

Friday’s invitational starts in St. Charles at 7, while Sunday’s meet at Lindenwood is at 1.