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Otahks Finish Home Season Strong With Win

Team's seniors help to season-high team score

Senior Michelle Walker and the other seniors on this year's team had their night Friday in a win against Western Michigan.

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Final Stats

Cape Girardeau, Mo. (March 15, 2002) - It was senior night at Houck Field House Friday night as the Otahks put a hurtin to the Broncos of Western Michigan University winning by a score of 193.400 - 191.000.

The atmosphere in Houck was just perfect for the night. With a good crowd and great routines from the Otahk athletes, the night was coming along great. Capped off by a convincing win and an emotional senior day ceremony, the seniors of 2002 had a great send-off.

Southeast got wins in three of the four individual events and had two athletes tied for the all-around title. Sophomore Ashley Godwin came away with two titles on the night as she had a 9.800 on the vault and shared the bars title with junior Amy Cole as both came away with identical 9.800's. Senior Michelle Walker captured the floor title in her last home event with a 9.850. Godwin and Cole tied for the all-around with a score of 38.525.

UWM was led by their only event winner in Kristen Maul, who had a 9.850 on the beam. The team had come into the event ranked 45 in the nation with an average score of 193.000, but just couldn't manage to break the Otahks on their night.

The team as a whole was kicking on all cylinders tonight as they scored their highest team total so far this season with a 193.400 and look strong heading into next week's Midwest Independent Championships. Coach Patty Stotzheim talked about next week's season-ending tournament.

"I am really proud of the seniors tonight, as well as the rest of the team," she said. "They all bring such different attributes to the team, but each of them gel's together smoothly. As far as next week, we have beat Illinois State, Centenary, and did well against Illinois Chicago so I believe we have a good chance. We just need to get around that strong home crowd UIC will bring."

The meet was the last for the seniors at Houck and they were happy with the result tonight.

"This was a great win tonight," Walker said. "I had a great performance, maybe even my best this season, and it was great to cap off my career like this."

Walker is one of three Otahks who have strong chances to qualify for the regional tournament at Arizona State in April, as she is close to qualifying for the floor exercise and Godwin and Cole will most likely qualify in the all-around.

"I really don't think about regionals this early," Walker said. "We have another meet next week and that's on my mind right now."

Southeast travels to Chicago next week to take part in the Midwest Independent Championships.


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