Bowling Green, Ohio -
The Mid-American Conference announced the 2010 MAC Gymnastics Specialty Awards at the banquet this evening as voted on by the leagues head coaches.
Kent State junior Christine Abou-Mitri claimed Gymnast of the Year honors. Abou-Mitri is the first Golden Flash to claim this award. Abou-Mitri won the all-around in five of 10 meets this season, including a total of better that 39 in six meets this season. She also won seven beam, three vault, two floor and one bars title, including a win on every event and in the all-around against Northern Illinois and Rutgers (Feb. 19).
Central Michigan claimed three of the five specialty awards this season. Katie Simon was named MAC Senior Gymnast of the Year, the sixth CMU gymnast to earn the honor, Britney Taylor became the fourth consecutive Chippewa to win MAC Freshman of the Year and head coach Jerry Reighard was tabbed MAC Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career.
Simon finished the regular season ranked in the top three of every event in the MAC. The Bristol, Wis., native led all MAC gymnasts on bars with a regional qualifying score of 9.860. She ranks second in the league in the all-around (39.110), vault (9.840) and beam (9.785) and is third on floor (9.840). She has recorded 27 event victories this season and has scored 9.700 or higher 35 times and gone 9.800 or better on 27 occasions while competing in every event.
Taylor competed in all but two routines this season and ended the year ranked second in the MAC on vault (9.840) and third in both all-around (38.865) and beam (9.780). She scored 39 or higher on the all-around three times, all of which came in conference duals. She won eight events and scored 9.700 or higher 26 times while tallying 12 scores of 9.800 or better.
Reighard led the Chippewas to a top-25 ranking in midseason for the first time since 2005. He guided CMU to a 12-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in MAC duals to finish second in the regular-season standings. The Chippewas' 195.110 RQS is the 24th best in the nation. Central has defeated two ranked teams this season, No. 21 Michigan State at the State of Michigan Classic on Feb. 7 and No. 23 Arizona State on March 5.
Ashley Guerra became the first Northern Illinois gymnast to earn the Specialist of the Year Award, which goes to a league athlete who competes in two or less events. Guerra has twice earned Northern Illinois' team-high score of 9.825 on uneven parallel bars and has won the bars event at five of NIU's 10 competitions this season. She has scored 9.725 or higher seven times this season, including in each of NIU's last four meets. On balance beam, Guerra has improved her consistency throughout the season and scored a season and career-high 9.775 on the apparatus last week to take fourth place at the Illinois Classic state championship meet. She has four top four finishes on balance beam this year and has averaged a 9.695 on the event over the Huskies' last five meets.
The 2010 All-MAC Gymnasts Team will be announced following tomorrow's championship meet. For more information about the 2010 MAC Gymnastics Championship check out 2010 MAC Gymnastics Championship page!