Burke Wins All-Around Title as Tigers Place Third in Chicago Style Invite

Friday, February 10-

The No. 18 Missouri Tigers gymnastics team came into the 14th annual Chicago Style Invite hot, having won their first five meets of the season.

The Tigers were up against tough opponents in No. 7 UCLA, No. 15 Boise State and No. 19 Illinois but had played the underdog already this season.

Missouri finished with a team score of 195.525 to place third in the meet just ahead of Illinois (195.100). Missouri senior Mary Burke took the all-around title with a score of 39.375.

The Tigers started off on the wrong foot finishing the first rotation with a score of 48.700 in the beam, placing them in fourth. Tori Howard put up Missouri’s best score with an excellent 9.775, but it was not enough to lift the Tigers.

Even after a strong effort on the floor routine, putting up a team score of 48.900, the Tigers still trailed Illinois 97.725 to 97.600 after two rotations. Burke started to get hot during the floor routine posting a Tiger-best score of 9.850.

Burke continued to stay hot, posting a score of 9.875 in the vault, once again a high score for the Missouri gymnasts. Freshman Kelsy Landreth contributed to Missouri’s team score of 48.900 in the event by earning a 9.825, just behind Burke for second on the team.

Going into the final rotation the Tigers were looking for one last push to make sure they wouldn’t place last. Burke gave them that push, earning her best score of the day, on the bar, with a score of 9.900. As a team the Tigers scored a 48.950. Allie Heizelmen earned the Tigers second best score with a score of 9.825.

Finishing third wasn’t the result the Tigers were looking for but among the nation’s best they competed well. Burke earned the all-around over Samantha Peszek of UCLA, who came into the meet undefeated but only posted a score of 39.275.

Missouri next competes on Friday, Feb. 17 when they host Oklahoma. The meet, which will be televised on Mediacom, begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.

– Walt Scher
Staff Writer