Opening-night jitters gave way to Sunday afternoon success for the UAA gymnastics team.
The Seawolves made a giant leap from their Friday night season-opening performance to claim their first victory of the young season. They beat Illinois State with 192.35 points — the best early season score in program history and an improvement of more than three points over their score of 188.725 on Friday.
Sophomore Isabelle Fox racked up a career-high 38.85 points to win the all-around and improve on her Friday score of 38.1. She placed second in floor exercise (9.825) and uneven parallel bars (9.625), third in balance beam (9.7) and fourth in vault (9.7).
Another big boost came from junior Sophia Hyderally, who won the bars (9.675), placed second in beam (9.825) and third in floor (9.8), a new event for her this season.
“That was a terrific performance today. I’m really proud of how we responded after a tough opening night on Friday,” said second-year coach Tanya Ho, who guided the team to the highest January score in program history. “Isabelle and Sophia were great anchors in our lineup today, but it was a full team effort to achieve this kind of score this early in the year.”
Among those helping the Seawolves beat the Redbirds for the first time in eight meetings were Mackenzie Miller, who shared second place in bars with Fox and took fourth place in floor (9.75), and Hope Nelson, who grabbed fifth place in beam (9.675) and bars (9.4).
Illinois State’s Gabrielle Cooke, Friday’s all-around winner who placed second to Fox on Sunday with 38.325 points, claimed victories in vault (9.8) and floor exercise (9.85). Teammate Savannah Remkus scored 9.875 for the balance beam win.
The Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center later this week for meets Friday night and Sunday afternoon against Brown University.