Ball State Wins MAC Gymnastics Title

Updated 3/23/2002

March 23, 2002

Ball State Unviersity claimed the first Gymnastics Championship title in program history at the 2002 Mid-American Conference Gymnastics Championships on Saturday, March 23.

The Cardinals posted a 195.375 to lead the competition. Central Michigan finished second with 194.975 and Kent State finished third (194.875). Eastern Michigan (194.875) and Bowling Green (194.100) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Western Michigan (192.125) and Northern Illinois (190.875) rounded out the competition with sixth and seventh place finishes.

This marks the first time since the 1987 season that a team other than Central Michigan and Kent State have won the championship.

Central Michigan's Shanna Duggan claimed the vault title, posting a 9.900. Bowling Green's Marny Oestreng finished second with a 9.875. Quiana Williams of Ball State and Kara Reighard from Central Michigan tied for third place, each garnering a 9.850.

Ball State's Renee Planck won the parallel bars event (9.900), while teammate Cassie Anthony took second (9.875). Tying for second with Anthony was Central Michigan's Reighard and Kent State's Heather Langham.

Central Michigan earned the top spots on the balance beam. Bethany Couturier finished first with a 9.875, while teammates Duggan and Reighard finished second with a 9.825.

The floor exercise provided a six-way tie for first-place, each gymnast posting a 9.900. Oestreng, Ball State's Jenny Gantt and Central Michigan's Michele Orloski tied for the event, along with a trio of Eastern Michigan athletes - Natalie Hashimoto, Leah Hashimoto and Sara Wasilenko - each earned a share of the title.

Kara Reighard posted the top all-around score of the event with a 39.425. The MAC Freshman of the Year was followed closely by the MAC Gymnast of the Year, Eastern Michigan's Natalie Hashimoto, who earned a 39.350. Bowling Green's Marny Oestreng rounded out the medals podium with s third-place mark of 39.175.

Final Standings
1. Ball State 195.375
2. Central Michigan 194.975
3. Kent State 194.875
4. Eastern Michigan 194.100
5, Bowling Green 193.075
6. Western Michigan 192.125
7. Northern Illinois 190.875

All-MAC First Team*
Renee Planck, Ball State
Jenny Gantt, Ball State
Marny Oestreng, Bowling Green
Kara Reighard, Central Michigan
Shanna Duggan, Central Michigan
Bethany Couturier, Central Michigan
Michele Orloski, Central Michigan
Natalie Hashimoto, Eastern Michigan
Leah Hashimoto, Eastern Michigan
Sara Wasilenko, Eastern Michigan

* Due to ties in scoring, there is a 10-member All-MAC First Team and no All-MAC Second Team.