Gymnastics knocks off No. 14 George Washington, No. 25 Iowa State

The Tigers’ victory ended its three-meet losing streak in impressive fashion, defeating two top-25 schools.

Missouri gymnast Brooke Kelly performs her routine on the bars during the State of Missouri Meet on Feb. 5 in Hearnes Center. Maneater File Photo

Missouri gymnastics bounced back in resounding fashion over No. 14 George Washington, No. 25 Iowa State and Lindenwood at Hearnes Center on Friday night. The victory comes after the Tigers dropped their last three meets, all to Southeastern Conference schools ranked in the nation’s top 15.

Home was a welcome sight for the Tigers after returning from a two-week road trip.

“It was so great just to be back in our home environment,” Britney Ward said after the meet. “We were all just real excited to be back with our own fans and get our own energy. It was a lot of fun tonight.”

Kennedi Harris talked about the edge the Tigers’ home floor gives them.

“We train here a lot, practiced here in the preseason a lot,” Harris said. “It was good to be back with all the Mizzou fans.”

Mizzou started off the meet strong on vault, posting a 49.050 team score. Aspen Tucker performed well, scoring a 9.850. Ward posted a 9.925, her fourth score of 9.925 or higher this season on vault.

Ward attributes her consistency on vault to “having a year under my belt and feeling more confident.”

The Tigers had strong team outings on beam and floor, recording the highest team scores on both.

Ward posted the highest individual score on beam with a 9.875, and Tia Allbritten tied for third with a 9.825.

Harris set the tone for the Tigers once again on floor, notching a 9.875. Becca Schugel continued to be solid on the floor, scoring a 9.850.

After the meet, Harris was pleased with her performance on the floor.

“I think that was my best floor routine this season,” she said.

Not only did Mizzou get the team win, but Ward achieved individual wins on beam and vault. Tucker finished second in the all-around.

Ward says the team has stayed in positive spirits during the losing streak, focusing instead on improving.

“It’s great that we got the W tonight, but really we’re focusing on the process and what we can do in the here and now,” she said. “Making improvements each time whether we win or lose.”

The next set of improvements will be on display during the Gymquarters Invitational Meet against No. 9 Georgia, No. 2 LSU and No. 1 Oklahoma on Feb. 17. The meet gives Mizzou a chance to make up ground on LSU, which currently sits atop the SEC standings.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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