Central Michigan Sweeps MAC Gymnasts and Specialist Weekly Awards

Updated 2/26/2007
Gymnast of the Week

Katie Simon Central Michigan Fr. ● (Bristol, Wis. /Westosha)

This past weekend Simon scored a 39.375 to capture the all-around and help the Chippewas post their highest team score of the season, 195.775. She notched career-highs on three events, scoring 9.925 on the floor exercise, 9.900 on vault, and 9.750 on balance beam, and she matched her career-high with a 9.800 on bars. Her floor total in the highest in the MAC this season, and her vault is second-best in the MAC on the year.

Other Nominees:

Kelly Watson Ball State Sr. ● (Ravenna, Mich. /Allendale)

Watson recorded a score of 9.850 for a career-high on floor which was also good for a first place finish. Watson earned a 9.700 on vault, a 9.425 on bars and had a 9.675 on beam. Watson's all-around score earned her top honors with a personal best 38.650. Watson helped BSU to its highest team score of the season (192.450).

Jolene Worley Eastern Michigan Jr. ● (Orlando, Fla. /William R. Boone)

Worley captured medalist honors in the balance beam and all-around competitions at the 27th Annual Callaway Bank Cat Classic hosted by the No. 17 ranked University of Missouri Tigers. On day one of the classic she posted a season-high mark of 38.950 in the all-around to capture medalist honors. On day two, with the top 10 performers in each event competing for top honors, Worley would again finish in the spotlight with a 9.850 on the balance beam, capturing medalist honors for the second time in as many days. EMU would finish in second place behind Missouri and ahead of Bowling Green and William and Mary, posting a total score of 191.775.

Kristin Peters Kent State Jr. ● (Maineville, Ohio/Kings)

Peters efforts resulted in two first place titles on bars and two first place titles on beam. In Friday’s meet against Pitt Peters earned first place honors on bars with a 9.800 she also earned first place honors on beam with a season-high and career-high tying score of 9.925. In Sunday’s meet she began the meet by notching a career-high on vault with a 9.875; this mark placed her ninth all-time in KSU gymnastics’ history. She followed that effort with a 9.825 on beam which

Natalie Blum Northern Illinois Fr. ● (Homer Glen, Ill. / Lockport Township)

Blum competed on the vault, bars and floor in a pair of meets for the Huskies this week. In NIU’s dual meet versus Ball State, Blum tied her season highs on both the vault and floor with scores of 9.725 and 9.775, respectively, to take second place on both events. She also added a 9.575 on bars on Friday to tie for fourth. On Sunday, Blum tied her season high on vault with a 9.750 while recording the Huskies’ highest score on floor at 9.700. She also added a 9.675 on bars Sunday.

Jennifer Sturgis Western Michigan Sr. ● (Novi, Mich. /Novi)

Sturgis won the all-around event with a score of 38.825 against Air Force. It was her second-highest total in the competition, and marked the fourth time she has won event this year. Sturgis also claimed the title in the beam, placing first with a score of 9.775. In addition, she notched two third-places finishes, scoring 9.675 in the vault and 9.700 on the bars. She placed fourth on the floor with a 9.675.

Specialist of the Week

Sheena Smith Central Michigan Sr. ● (Middleburg, Fla. /Ridgeview)

Smith reached a level not seen in the Mid-American Conference in three years, scoring a career-high 9.950 on the vault in CMU's dual meet victory over Kent State. She is the first MAC gymnast to score that high since former CMU standout Kara Reighard earned a 9.950 at the 2004 MAC Championships, and her vault helped CMU post a team total of 49.075 on vault, the best in the MAC this season. She added a strong 9.825 on uneven bars as CMU netted its best score of the season in the 195.775-195.200 win at Kent.

Other Nominees:

Cobie Zuk Ball State So. /Fr. ● (Kentwood, Mich. /East Kentwood)

Zuk pulled in a remarkable 9.750 performance on beam for a first place finish. Zuk's beam score was a season and personable high for the redshirt freshman. Zuk's performance earned her a first place finish whiled helping the Cardinals to a 48.150 team total to defeat the Huskies.

Tawna Bennett Eastern Michigan Jr. ● (Jacksonville, Fla. /Edward White)

Bennett posted a 9.800 on the first day of action in the vault competition at the Cat Classic. She would finish fourth on the first day and go on to take third place during the top honors’ competition.

Laci Hendress Kent State So. ● (Wolcott, Ind. /Tri-County)

Hendress posted a career-high effort of 9.900 on the floor exercise this past weekend. She took home first place in that meet. Sunday she was very strong as well with a second place effort of 9.875. In both meets she gave solid efforts on beam with matching scores of 9.700.

Leah Johnson Northern Illinois So. ● (Glenview, Ill. /Glenbrook South)

Johnson took the vault title in NIU’s dual meet versus Ball State on Friday with a score of 9.850 as she recorded the top mark of the season on vault for Northern Illinois. Johnson easily outdistanced the second-place finisher in the meet as the second place vault scored a 9.725. Johnson added a 9.650 on the floor exercise in the Ball State meet despite competing with an injury that forced her to miss NIU’s Sunday triangular meet versus Illinois and Iowa State.

Keesha Olsen Western Michigan Fr. ● (Kansasville, Wis. /Westosha Central)

In her only event of the day, redshirt freshman Keesha Olsen had a career day on bars in WMU's win over Air Force on Saturday. Olsen took first place for the first time in her collegiate career, winning the event with a personal-best 9.775. The score improved on her previous high of 9.550. It was the second-highest mark in the competition recorded by a Bronco this year.