Logan Ball, 23 Sports

Friday, January 6 –

Starting their season ranked 19th in the nation, the Missouri women’s gymnastics team looked to send a strong statement to start off the year. The message was delivered as the Tigers dominated No. 24 Illinois and Ball State with a score of 196.225.

That score is the highest in opening-meet history for Mizzou and surpasses the old record of 195.250 set by the women of 2004.

Five Tigers would take home their first wins of the year. Junior Kennedi Harris and sophomore Madeline Huber both finished in the top three in two events.

Coming into the season, many were unsure where this squad’s strengths would lie, but they excelled in the floor exercise and in the vault.

Mizzou athletes took the top three spots in each of these events. Junior Becca Schugel took home first in the floor exercise (9.850) and sophomore Britney Ward won the vault (9.825).

Yet, freshman Aspen Tucker took home the first place finish in the all-around results with a final tally of 39.175.

Tucker did not win a single event, yet finished in the top six in all but one event (placed 11th on the vault) including a third place achievement on the floor exercise (9.825).

The win will be a great confidence boost as the Tigers head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to face the No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, Jan. 13.