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April Strader
Ashley Thomas won the beam title with a career-high 9.850 on Sunday afternoon and tied for the vault title with a 9.800. She now has 14 career event victories in just two seasons.

Women's Gymnastics

Redhawks Drop Dual at UIC; Thomas Wins Beam Title

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CHICAGO, Ill. – Southeast Missouri was defeated 193.625–191.800 by Illinois-Chicago Sunday afternoon at the UIC Pavilion. The Redhawks recorded a season-high 48.825 on balance beam as four gymnasts established career-bests in the event. Ashley Thomas finished second in the all-around with a 38.850, won the balance beam title with a career-high 9.850 and was part of a three-way tie for the vault title with a 9.800.
 
"The team stepped up and did a great job on beam today. I'm proud of beam for really putting things together," head coach Kristi Ewasko said. "We talked about this being a practice for next weekend. Hopefully we'll build some confidence and get prepared for the MIC Championships."
 
On beam, Thomas (9.850), Taylor Penzien (9.825), Erin Brady (9.725) and Alexis Brawner (9.725) all recorded career-bests. It marked the 13th career event title for Thomas, who has a team-leading 10 scores of 9.800 or better during her sophomore season.
 
The Redhawks began the meet on uneven bars, where they recorded a 48.175. Penzien led the way with a 9.800, which tied for her second-best bars score of the season. Lauren Israel added a 9.750, also tying her second-best mark of 2015. Alexandria Stokes contributed a 9.725.
 
UIC opened on the vault, posting a 48.375. Gabrielle May and Nikki Woodruff both notched scores of 9.800.
 
Both teams then traded events as Southeast moved to vault and UIC headed to bars.
 
Southeast registered a 48.250 on vault, led by a 9.800 by Thomas, who tied for the event title. Brawner added a 9.775 and has scored at least that high eight times during her freshman season.
 
The Flames scored 48.925 on bars, paced by a 9.825 by May and 9.800 from Kimberly Randall. Riley Cholod and Citali Cuevas both notched a 9.775.
 
During the third rotation, the Redhawks moved to floor exercise and notched a 46.550. Brady recorded a 9.550 while Thomas posted a 9.500. UIC tallied a 47.655 on balance beam. May scored 9.725 and Emily DeCesare registered a 9.675.
 
The Flames finished up with a 48.675 on floor exercise, led by a 9.875 from May. She won the all-around with a 39.225.
 
Southeast will compete at the Midwest Independent Conference Championships on Saturday, March 21 on the campus of Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. CT from Kitty Magee Arena.
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