Gymnast of the Week
Christine Abou-Mitri, Kent State, Jr., Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights
For junior Christine Abou-Mitri, it was a clean sweep with wins on every event and the all-around in one of her best meets of her Kent State career. Overcoming tough judging on vault all night, Christine Abou-Mitri tied KSU senior Brittanny Kopp and junior Christina Lenny with a 9.775. Moving on to bars, Abou-Mitri won again with a season-high of 9.850, tying sophomore teammate Erin Rothrock. On beam, Abou-Mitri won with a season and conference-best 9.850. She concluded the night with a career-high winning routine of 9.900, which ties the conference-best mark this season.
Co-Specialist of the Week
Bibiana Rodriguez, Ball State, Sr., San Juan, Puerto Rico/Maria Rein
Bibiana Rodriguez tied for second on the bars with a 9.750 mark en route to helping Ball State to a pair of wins over Illinois State and Texas Woman's in a three-way meet in Muncie, Ind., Sunday. Rodriguez is currently tied for 11th in the Central Regional on the bars.
Danielle Durbin, Kent State, Jr., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Eastern Michigan
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and what a first impression it was for Danielle Durbin. Competing for the first time for Kent State, she wowed the crowd with a 9.825 in the second position for the Golden Flashes on floor. It was the best routine at the time, but unfortunately for her, four gymnasts remained for KSU on the event. It took season bests by seniors Lydia Barrett (9.875) and Samantha Heydlauff (9.850) and a career-best from Abou-Mitri (9.900) to keep Durbin from an event win as Kent State went a season and MAC-best 49.200 on floor. Kent State (194.575) defeated MAC-foe Northern Illinois (192.775) and Rutgers (187.925) for its 16th-consecutive conference regular season meet win.
Additional Nominees for Gymnast of the Week
Brittney Emmons, Ball State, So., Pace, Fla./Tate
Brittney Emmons won the floor event, tied for first on the vault and finished third in the all-around in Ball State's victories over Illinois State and Texas Woman's in a three-way meet Sunday. Emmons won the floor with a 9.825 and tied for first on the vault with a 9.750. Her 38.500 placed her third in the all-around. Emmons now ranks sixth in the Central Region and is tied for 29th in the nation on the floor.
Breanne Guy, Bowling Green, Sr., Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch
Breanne Guy helped lead the Falcons to their fifth straight win, downing Eastern Michigan 193.175-191.875, scoring a season-high 38.925 in the all-around, finishing first. She also won the bars with a 9.800 and finished second on beam with a 9.750.
Katie Simon, Central Michigan, Sr., Bristol, Wis./Wetosha
Senior Katie Simon posted a solid 38.850 all-around score in Central's win over rival Western Michigan on Sunday. Simon scored 9.800 or higher in three of her four events, highlighted by a career-high tying 9.900 on uneven bars. Simon won the all-around and uneven bars title alone, shared the beam crown and finished runner-up on floor.
Kaylyn Millick, Eastern Michigan, Fr., Washington, Pa./Trinity
True freshman Kaylyn Millick had another outstanding performance for the Eagles, as her all-around mark of 38.700 was second overall in the competition, trailing only BGSU's Breanne Guy, who registered a 38.925. Millick carded a meet-best 9.775 on the balance beam, while also tallying a 9.700 on the uneven parallel bars, 9.625 in the floor exercise and a 9.600 on the vault.
Holly Reichard, Northern Illinois, Jr., Palatine, Ill./Palatine Fremd
In just her third all-around competition of the season Reichard placed fifth or higher in three events, including a third place finish in the all-around at the Huskies triangular meet with Kent State and Rutgers. Reichard scored a 38.750 with three scores of 9.700 or higher on the day. She placed second on balance beam at the meet with a 9.775 and scored a 9.750 on uneven bars to tie for fifth place on that event. Reichard also scored a 9.700 on floor exercise as NIU recorded its season high team score for the sixth straight meet.
Additional Nominees for Specialist of the Week
Sunny Marchand, Bowling Green, Fr., Pelham, NH
Sunny Marchand helped lead the Falcons to their fifth-straight win, downing Eastern Michigan 193.175-191.875, scoring well on vault and floor. She finished fifth on vault with a score of 9.700 and eighth on floor with a score of 9.675.
Emily LaFontaine, Central Michgian, Fr., Plymouth, Mich./Canton
Emily LaFontaine had a breakout performance for the Chippewas against Western Michigan on Sunday. The freshman scored her first 9.800 in any collegiate event by hitting the mark on floor exercise. LaFontaine's score was the third highest in the dual meet. She is the third Chippewa to eclipse that score on the floor exercise this season.
Nikole Viltz, Eastern Michigan, Jr., Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Carmel
Junior Nikole Viltz posted a pair of impressive scores for the Eagles, Feb. 21, at Bowling Green, as her 9.775 on the vault put her in a tie for second with teammate Erin Grigg. Viltz also carded a 9.600 on the balance beam, good for sixth place.
Keiko Tanaka, Northern Illinois, Jr., Naperville, Ill./Waubonsie Valley
Tanaka recorded NIU's second-highest score of the day on uneven parallel bars and tied her season high score with a 9.700 Friday night at Kent State. She placed seventh in the triangular meet on the event.