CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) - Giana O'Connor compiled her best week in an Illinois leotard and as a result the Big Ten conference came calling with the Freshman of the Week award. O'Connor set two new career highs while tying four of them, captured a balance beam title, finished in the top-6 in all eight events and helped guide the Illini to victory over Missouri on Friday and then Ball State and UIC on Sunday.
The acknowledgment is O'Connor's second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor this season. She joins teammate Amber See as the only Illini to capture the freshman award twice in a season. Furthermore, O'Connor earns the Orange and Blue their fourth award of 2013.
O'Connor got off to hot start against Mizzou as the freshman didn't score below a 9.8 on any event, thus helping the Streamwood native break her personal all-around record (39.250) by scoring a 39.275. In addition, O'Connor set a new career high on bars with a 9.825.
On Senior Day, O'Connor tied yet another career high, this time on balance beam with a 9.850, resulting in her second beam title of the season. O'Connor then achieved her career high on floor (9.850) for the fifth time this year. More impressively, in the same weekend, O'Connor recorded a 39.275 in the all-around for the second time.
Up next, O'Connor and the rest of the Fighting Illini travel to Chicago for the State of Illinois Classic on March 16, at 5 p.m. CT.
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