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Gymnasts Head To Illinois For Key Regional Match-Up

Otahks look to make a move in the regional rankings

Senior Michelle Walker will help lead the Otahks this weekend against the University of Illinois

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Cape Girardeau, Mo. (March 8, 2002) - The Southeast Missouri State Gymnastics team will be in action again Saturday night as they travel to Champaign, Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois in an important regional dual at 7 p.m.

Illinois is ranked seventh in the latest South Central Regional Poll, whereas Southeast is ranked tenth. Sophomore Ashley Godwin and junior Amy Cole also look like they have a good chance in qualifying for the regional tournament in the all-around, and Senior Michelle Walker has only the Illini's Jana Gallagher in her way of making a trip to Tempe.

Southeast is coming off a split with Illinois State University and Ball State University in which they dropped one to BSU, but avenged an earlier loss to ISU with a home win. Southeast didn't win any of the individual events, but did have the all-around champion in Godwin. She posted a 39.025, her second-highest total so far this season. Cole finished third in the all-around. Godwin has a team-high 10 individual championships this season, with Walker in second with four and senior Karen Hamilton with one.

The Illini scored a season-best 194.000 two weeks ago in their last meet at Huff. The top score bettered the 193.500 posted by Pittsburgh, giving Illinois its second-straight home victory. They are led by Gallagher, freshman Ashley Williams, and sophomore Kara Kapernekas. The three posted first-place finishes their last time out and will be looking for more of the same. The meet will be senior day for the Illinois and the crowd should be ready.

Southeast will next be in action as they play host to Western Michigan Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. in Houck Field House. The meet will be the last of the season and will be senior night.


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