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Gymnastics: Pioneers finish strong in Chicago

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CHICAGO — After a slow start on bars and balance beam Friday, TWU regrouped to finish strong on floor exercise and vault for a team score of 192.825 at the IGI Chicago Style Invitational.

TWU finished third behind No. 13 Arizona (195.950) and Pittsburgh (194.750) and ahead of Illinois State (191.125).

The Pioneers opened on bars and the Cochefski twins led the team to a 47.775. Courtney Cochefski scored a team-high 9.775 while Victoria Cochefski finished second with a 9.700.

“We struggled again in the beginning of the lineup on bars,” TWU coach Lisa Bowerman said. “We are still trying to find the team that would give the scores we need to be better.”

On beam, TWU counted two falls and scored a 47.400. The Pioneers were led by Spencer Jones with a 9.725, while Ciara Maradiaga and Stephanie Repp each posted 9.700.

On floor, five Pioneers scored 9.700 or better for a team score of 48.750. Kristin Edwards led the team with a 9.825, while Jones scored a 9.800. Amy Winczura (9.725), Margaret Mayfield (9.700) and Repp (9.700) all excelled.

On vault, TWU posted a season-high 48.900, led by Bethany Larimer’s career-high 9.900. Winczura and Mayfield also recorded career highs with scores of 9.825 and 9.750, respectively, while Edwards posted a 9.800.

“We had some beautiful vaults,” Bowerman said. “Amy and Kristin had great vaults, and Bethany finished the meet with a very nice stuck vault.”

The Pioneers will return to action at 7 p.m. Friday in Oklahoma City at the Bart Conner Perfect 10 Invitational. TWU will face Boise State, BYU and Oklahoma at the Myriad.