MAC Announces Gymnast and Specialist of the Week

Updated 3/23/2010

Gymnast of the Week
Katie Simon, Central Michigan, Sr., Bristol, Wis./Wetosha
Katie Simon had the finest performance of her illustrious career in the regular season finale at Bowling Green on Sunday. Simon posted the sixth-highest all-around score in CMU history with a career-best 39.475, by far the highest score in the MAC this season. She scored 9.800 or better in all four events, including 9.900 or higher twice. Simon won uneven bars with a career-best 9.925 (the seventh best in CMU history), floor with a season-best 9.900, beam with a 9.850 and took fifth on vault with a 9.800. The effort was the fourth time this season that the senior has scored over 39 in all-around this season. It raised her regional qualifying score to 39.110, the second best in the conference.

Specialist of the Week
Rachel Guida, Kent State, Fr., Cumberland, R.I./Cumberland   
Freshman Rachel Guida has been the picture of consistency for the Golden Flashes in her first season, and Sunday against Western Michigan was no different. She turned it her best vault of her career with a 9.800, extending her streak of four-straight meets with a 9.750 or better. She also turned in a career-high 9.800 on bars, the fourth time she has done that this season. For her consistency this season, only two other gymnasts in the MAC have a higher season average on bars.

Additional Nominees

Julie Cotter, Ball State, So., Orefield, Pa./Northwestern Lehigh             
Julie Cotter placed third on beam with a 9.675 and fourth on bars with a 9.7 against visiting Eastern Michigan Sunday. Cotter's scores contributed to Ball State's first Mid-American Conference win this season.

Breanne Guy, Bowling Green, Sr., Bradenton, Florida / Lakewood Ranch              
Senior Breanne Guy matched her season best in the all-around with a score of 38.925, helping the Falcons to post a team score of 194.375, their highest mark in over five years. The senior scored a 9.700 on vault, 9.800 on bars, 9.675 on balance beam and 9.750 on the floor exercise.

Sunny Marchand, Bowling Green, Fr., Pelham, New Hampshire              
Sunny Marchand scored a 9.825 on the vault, a new career-best and added a 9.675 on the floor to help the Falcons score a 194.375, their highest team score in over five years. The Freshman's vault scored tied for second in the meet.

Kari Dieffenderfer, Central Michigan, Fr., Dawsonville, Ga./Veritas Classical
Kari Dieffenderfer had a breakthrough performance in her final regular season meet at Bowling Green. The freshman scored a career-best 9.825 on uneven bars to finish second behind teammate Katie Simon in the event. Her career-best 9.775 on vault was good for seventh in the competition and was higher than all but one BGSU gymnast on the day. The Dawsonville, Ga., native concludes the season ranked sixth in the conference with a 9.760 regional qualifying score on bars.

Kaylyn Millick, Eastern Michigan, Fr., Washington, Pa./Trinity  
Freshman Kaylyn Millick had a sensational competition for the Eagles at Ball State, March 21, as she carded a career-high 9.825 in the floor exercise to go along with a career-high and first place 39.000 all-around score. Millick also recorded scores of 9.775 on the vault, 9.725 on the balance beam, and 9.675 on the bars in the meet to win the all-around for the third consecutive competition.

Sam Golden, Eastern Michigan, Sr., Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls              
Senior Sam Golden posted a career-high mark on the vault at Ball State, March 21, as her 9.725 was good for fourth overall in the competition and helped EMU win the event with a season-best team score of 48.625. Golden also tallied a 9.625 in the floor exercise to finish tied for ninth place.

Lydia Barrett, Kent State, Sr., Rochester N.Y./Penfield             
Barrett claimed the title on vault with a season-high mark of 9.900, the best judges' mark in the meet by a full tenth. She also finished third on bars and fifth on floor with a 9.850. Four gymnast tied for first with a 9.875. Barrett now has gone 9.8 or better on floor in seven of the 10 meets this year and is fourth on floor with an RQS of 9.835. Her 9.900 on vault ties teammate Christina Lenny for the best vault in the conference this season. On bars, she is third in the conference with an RQS of 9.800.

Natalie Blum, Northern Illinois, Sr., Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township              
Natalie Blum led the Huskies to a second place finish behind No. 13 Illinois at the Illinois Classic (state championship meet) with three top performances.  Blum earned her highest score of the season on vault with 9.825 to take fifth place at the meet as NIU's team earned its best vault score of the year.  She hit a solid 9.600 on uneven parallel bars and excelled once again on floor exercise with a 9.800, the seventh time she has scored 9.800 or higher on floor this season.

Ashley Guerra, Northern Illinois, So., Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg
Ashley Guerra put up two excellent scores as Northern Illinois took second in the Illinois Classic behind only 13th-ranked Illinois.  She earned NIU's highest placing at the meet by tying for fourth place on balance beam with a career best score of 9.775.  Her uneven bars routine checked in at 9.725, second highest on the NIU team.

Tiffany Brodbeck, Ball State , Fr., Palm Harbor, Fla./Countryside             
Tiffany Brodbeck won the floor exercise with a career-leading 9.9 to help Ball State to a season high 48.875 on the floor. Her 9.9 ties the 10th best floor score in Ball State history. Brodbeck also contributed a 9.65 on vault and 9.55 on beam to the Cardinals' 193.450 to 193.425 win over visiting Eastern Michigan Sunday.