Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Ball State's gymnastics team finished fourth of four teams in a meet at Southern Utah, which included Iowa and San Jose State.
Southern Utah won the meet with a 196.200 score, while Iowa was second with a 195.025, San Jose State was third with a 194.250 and Ball State managed a 193.575.
Denasiha Christian tallied a career high and won the floor with a 9.95 mark. The floor marked tied a Ball State school record that has now only been accomplished five times by three gymnasts. Christian's 9.95 was the first fr a Ball State gymnast since 2001. Jenny Gantt tallied a 9.95 on the floor three times in her career at Ball State, all in 2001, while Sarah Mikrut posted a 9.95 on the floor in 1997. Christian also managed the Cardinals top score on the vault with a 9.800.
Brittney Emmons and Brooklyn Schumacher tied for Ball State's top bars score with a pair of 9.825s.
On the beam, Samantha Santos was the Cardinals top finisher with a 9.800.
Emmons was Ball State's only competitor as an all-arounder and managed a 38.875 mark.
The Cardinals will compete at the Mid-American Conference Championships March 23 in Kalamazoo, Mich.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team dismantled Western Michigan, 195.175-192.950, to earn a crucial Mid-American Conference win and close out the regular season in Anderson Arena. The Falcons' score was the sixth-best in school history and marked the first time BGSU has broken the 195 mark since 2005.
Bowling Green was led by strong all-around performances from Megan Harrington (39.025) and Alyssa Nocella (38.85), who each matched their career bests to finish 1-2 in the all-around rankings. It was also the final home meet for the team's two seniors - Sunny Marchand and Monica Eaton.
"I'm just thrilled," said head coach Kerrie Beach. "There was a lot riding on this meet, especially because we had kind of a rough meet last weekend. The team was really focused - I think that was the difference. Even the athletes that weren't competing were focused. That's what you need. You need everyone on the floor moving toward the same goal and they were really able to do that."
The Falcons started on vault, totaling a steady 48.825. Jamilah Ali led the way, tying her career-best mark of 9.875 for a dynamic effort and the event win. Amanda Lievendag (9.8), Marchand (9.775), Harrington (9.725) and Nocella (9.65) rounded out the first rotation, as the Falcons trailed WMU 48.875-48.825.
In the second rotation, BGSU looked confident on uneven bars to score a 48.600. Harrington (9.625) and Gina Locigno (9.6) led off well, while the final three performers were solid under pressure after an error from the third gymnast in the lineup. Freshmen Nocella (9.7) and Caroline Ellingboe (9.8) hit their routines, setting up Lievendag for a 9.875, tying her career high and earning her a seventh bars title on the year.
At the halfway point, the Falcons and Broncos were knotted up at 97.425.
The tables turned in the third rotation, as WMU stumbled to two falls on floor. Meanwhile, the Falcons stayed calm to hit five good beam routines, despite a fall early in the lineup. Ellingboe led off with her cleanest routine of the year for a 9.7. Specialist Maria Salvia followed with a 9.6. The end of the lineup again came through, with Ali (9.75), Nocella (9.625) and Harrington (9.825) staying on to give BGSU the lead, 145.925-145.425.
Confident after hitting beam, the Falcons moved to their best event - the floor exercise. With an energetic home crowd cheering them on, Bowling Green delivered a 49.250 to secure the 195.175 win. Locigno was the top scorer, earning her first career 9.9 for a rock-solid routine and the event title. Nocella (9.875), Harrington (9.85), Ali (9.825) and Megan Valentini (9.8) all hit their tumbling to close out the Falcons' finest showing of the season.
The team now sets its sights on MAC Championships, hosted by Western Michigan on Saturday, March 23. The Falcons travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. with a MAC record of 3-3, with wins over Ball State, Eastern Michigan and WMU during the regular season. Riding the momentum of a successful year, Bowling Green looks to notch a high score and big finish at the MAC Championships.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – On the strength of a phenomenal floor exercise set, No. 24 Central Michigan put an exclamation mark on the 2013 regular season with a commanding 196.000-193.500 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday afternoon in McGuirk Arena. CMU’s total score marks the second time this season it has met or surpassed the coveted 196.000 benchmark.
“Today was an outstanding day for our entire team,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for them and for our seniors to have such a great competition in their last time competing in McGuirk Arena.”
“This is a real confidence boost for us. The excitement versus the alternative is very, very important. I have had teams that have rallied to win a championship after having a disastrous last meet and that’s not an easy coaching situation and certainly not an easy situation for an athlete to clear their head and put it behind them. We don’t have to do that.”
In their final tune-up before pursuing their fourth consecutive MAC championship next weekend, the Chippewas started shaky but ended with a bang, scoring a season high 49.325 in the floor exercise in the final rotation. All six competitors remarkably scored a 9.850 or above, led by freshman Taylor Bolender, senior Emily LaFontaine, and junior Brittany Petzold, who each recorded a title-winning 9.875.
“The floor exercise was the best I can remember in a long, long time,” said Reighard. “And, of course, this team has won three MAC titles. They really put it together. They knew what was on the line. I told them I wanted to throw out a 9.850 on floor and they know what that means. Darned, if they didn’t go out and do it and do it maybe better than we ever have.”
Bolender, who was the leadoff performer in both the uneven bars and floor exercise, had the best meet of her rookie campaign, registering season high scores in each event. In the bars, she set the tone by scoring a 9.850, securing a third place finish.
“I have the greatest respect for Taylor. She has given us exactly what I thought she was going to deliver. She is a very, very accomplished collegiate gymnast now and she does it with ease. And that’s what a lot of athletes aren’t able to do,” Reighard said.
Petzold continued to storm through the competition, as she has now firmly staked her claim to the title of top all-arounder in the MAC. She claimed a share of the floor titles and placed second in the uneven bars and the balance beam to win her fifth all-around crown of the season with an impressive score of 39.300.
CMU opened the meet on the vault and felt short of expectations, scoring a 48.725, its lowest score in the event since January 11. However, Meaghan McWhorter, competing for her final time in McGuirk Arena on Senior Day, salvaged the event for the Chippewas by scoring a 9.825 and tying for the top spot in the standings.
Moving to the uneven bars in rotation two, CMU picked up the pace, scoring a 49.100, its second best total this season in the event. Sophomore Kylie Fagan, who is ranked No. 2 in the MAC in the bars, won for the seventh time this season, scoring a 9.900. Fagan has not scored below a 9.800 in the event since week one.
Central carried its wave of momentum to the balance beam in rotation three. Sophomore Taylor Noonan, the MAC’s top-ranked beam performer, won the event with a score of 9.850, headlining a top three sweep in the standings. Following Petzold’s second place finish, sophomores Preslee Harrald and Becca Druien tied for third (9.750).
With 196.000 within its grasp, CMU attained it by putting together a floor exercise set for the stages, breaching the 49.000 barrier in the event for an impressive five straight meet. Just how good was the floor line-up for CMU? Five of the six competitors set career highs while sophomore Halle Moraw tied her season best with a 9.850.
Central Michigan will return to action next weekend when it travels to Kalamazoo, Mich. to seek its 14th overall conference title at the 2013 MAC Championships. The annual conference competition will take place on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. at University Arena in Read Fieldhouse on the host campus of Western Michigan University.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team fell on the road to Central Michigan University, 196.000-193.500, Saturday afternoon, March 16, in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
The highlights of the afternoon for the Eagles (5-10, 0-6 MAC) came on the vault as EMU outscored the Chippewas (11-4, 4-2 MAC), 48.975-48.725. Amanda Fuller, Khadijah Hudson and Anna Willette all tied for first on the event, receiving scores of 9.825 from the judges. Those first place marks tied the career-bests for both Fuller and Hudson. Senior Kristina Kurkmilis tallied a 9.700 to take fifth while freshman Ashlin Chambliss tied her personal-high on the vault with a 9.700.
Willette also paced the Green and White on the uneven parallel bars, posting a 9.750 for a fourth-place finish. Carrina Lo Bello added a personal-best 9.725 to place in sixth.
Junior Kaylee Meyers led Eastern on the balance beam with a fifth-place score of 9.725, while Hudson recorded a 9.825 as the top EMU gymnast on the floor exercise.
The EMU gymnasts will end its 2013 season, Saturday March 23, in Kalamazoo, Mich. as Western Michigan University hosts the Mid-American Conference Championships.
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State gymnastics team scored 195.975 on Senior Night to win its final home meet of the season, a quad that featured New Hampshire (194.675), Southeast Missouri State (194.025) and Cornell (192.450). With the victory, the Golden Flashes extend their winning streak to eight straight meets. In that span, Kent State has defeated 14 opponents and hasn't lost since Jan. 19.
Senior Lauren Wozniak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and sophomore Chelsea Drooger (Holland, Mich.) paced the Golden Flashes on vault with a 9.825. Senior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.) led the way with a 9.875 on the uneven bars.
Junior Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) scored a 9.925 on the balance beam. Freshman Nicolle Eastman (Burton, Mich.) also turned in a 9.900 to help the Golden Flashes post a team beam score of 49.225.
Freshman Katlin Isaacs (Mount Airy, N.C.) had the team high on the floor exercise at 9.825. Sophomores Amiah Mims (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Nicole Radon (Hamburg, N.Y.), and Wozniak all scored 9.775.
The night was special as Kent State honored its five seniors – Lindsay Runyan, Felicia Charles, Stephanie Smart, Guida and Wozniak.
With the regular season Mid-American Conference championship secure, the Golden Flashes travel March 23 to Western Michigan for the M.A.C. Championship meet.
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois showed its mental toughness and ability to come back from adversity by overcoming extremely tough judging on its first event to put together three solid events at the State of Illinois Classic Saturday at UIC's Physical Education Building.
NIU finished with a 192.675 to take fourth place at the meet. No. 17 Illinois won the competition with a 195.700, followed by Illinois State at 194.075 and UIC with a 193.375. Outside of the balance beam, NIU was within two-tenths of a point of both Illinois State and UIC on the other three events combined, and had the second-best team vault score of the meet behind only Illinois.
Northern Illinois' score was most affected by its 47.075 on balance beam, the Huskies' lowest score of the season on that apparatus, although NIU counted only one fall on the event. As a comparison, last week versus Western Michigan, the Huskies counted three falls, yet scored a 47.200 on beam. Three Northern Illinois gymnasts performed with hardly a bobble, yet all three were given a score below 9.500 on balance beam. Only Natasha Jufko was able to post a score near her normal average with a 9.750 on a tremendous routine, to tie for fourth place.
After the first rotation, Northern Illinois came back on floor exercise to score 48.325, still below its 48.725 season average on that event. Some of the differential came on small mistakes as three Huskies stepped out of bounds on floor, giving away a tenth on each occasion. Kim Gotlund and Shelby Davis paced NIU on floor with 9.725 scores to tie for seventh in the meet.
NIU sophomore Amanda Stepp led the way for the Huskies on vault with a career-best 9.850. She tied for second place to earn All-State honors for NIU. Freshman Jaelyn Olsen added a 9.775 and tied for seventh. NIU's 48.625 score on vault was its fourth-highest of the season and was the second-best team vault score of the meet, behind only Illinois.
Northern Illinois finished strong on bars, the event it will start on at next week's MAC Championships. Megan Melendez scored a 9.800 to tie for fifth place and freshmen Natalie Amadio and Lauren Africano added scores of 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. NIU totaled a 48.650 for its second-highest total of the year on the uneven parallel bars.
"The great thing is we held together," said NIU Head Coach Sam Morreale. "I'm proud of the team for how they responded. We were over-excited on floor exercise, but I want us to be aggressive so I can accept those types of mistakes. Amanda had a great vault and I thought vault did very well overall. We finished strong on bars."
"We counted one miss, and that's what we need to take from today going into the MAC Championships next week," Morreale added.
Northern Illinois was also the only team at the meet to place every gymnast on its roster on the Scholastic All-State team, which honors state gymnasts with a 3.0 grade point average or above.
NIU (4-8) completes its season next Saturday, March 23, at the Mid-American Conference Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan gymnastics team fell to Bowling Green on Satuday, 192.950 to 195.175. Western Michigan had a strong showing on the bars, outscoring the Falcons 48.875 to 48.600, but posted lower scores in the other events.
Jessica Buis earned a second place finish on the vault with a score of 9.850. Caroline O'Brien finished in second place on the bars with a score of 9.850.
Shelby MacDonald and Kelsey Turnquist tied for first-place on the beam with a score of 9.775. BGSU had a strong performance on the floor exercise, recording the top five scores. Lauren Bledsoe led the Broncos on the floor exercise with a score of 9.800.
Western Michigan will host the Mid-American Conference Championships next Saturday, March 23, at 2:00 p.m.