Postcard from college

Allison Buckley
University of Illinois senior



As a junior: Became Illinois' first two-time all-American by 16th in vaulting (9.5063). Buckley was third after preliminaries with a 9.90. She was Illinois' first event finalist and first-team all-American. The first-team all-Big 10 gymnast set a school record with a 39.525 all-around score against Penn State, breaking the previous record by .5. Buckley owns five of the school's eight best all-around scores entering her senior season and scored 39.0 or better in 14 meets last year. Had 14 first-place finishes, seven in vaulting, four in all-around and two each on bars and floor.  
As a sophomore: Placed 19th in all-around (39.30) and 21st on balance beam (9.85) at NCAA championships. Won the West Regional on balance beam, tying the U of I school record with a 9.925 and becoming the third Illini gymnast to win a regional event title. Also placed second in vaulting (9.90, equalling career-best) and fourth in all-around (39.425, season-high). Fourth at Big 10 Championships in floor exercise, equalling career-best with 9.925. Hit 44 of 48 routines, including all 12 on floor. 
As a freshman: Became Illinois' first all-American since Nancy Thies in 1976. Received awards for South Central Region Gymnast of the Year, Big 10 Freshman of the Year and all-Big 10. Finished 14h on balance beam (9.825) at NCAA Championships.  Placed second on beam, fourth in vaulting, fourth in all-around and seventh on floor at Big 10 Championships. Earned 19 first-place finishes, third in team history. Named team's Most Outstanding Gymnast.


As a sophomore and junior: Academic all-Big 10 and Scholastic all-America each year.


Hometown: Schaumburg
High school: Conant

At Conant: Was the first IHSA gymnast to win all-four individual events plus all-around while leading Cougars to 2006 team championship. Also, won state bars title in 2005 and state beam title in 2007. Collected 14 individual state medals in all.

After Conant: Led Team Illinois to first place at 2007 NHSGA National High School Championships, winning all-around, vaulting, beam and floor, while finishing second on bars.

Club: Gymkhana Gymnastics, Hanover Park

At Gymkhana: Won Level 10 Region V balance beam championship and qualified for Junior Olympic Nationals in 2006 -- where she finished seventh on beam, 10th in vaulting and 29th in all-around. Finished second on floor, fourth on beam and fourth in all-around at USAG Illinois state meet in 2007.

Noteworthy: Older sister, Jamie, competed at Illinois-Chicago