Kent State Univeristy Picked To Win Regular Season

Updated 1/11/2007

The Kent State Golden Flashes have been picked to win the 2007 Mid-American Conference gymnastics regular

season title, while Central Michigan was selected to win the 2007 MAC Gymnastics Championship, the conference offi ce announced

today with the release of its preseason poll, voted on by the league’s head coaches.

 

Kent State ended its season as the 2006 regular season MAC co-champions with an 5-1 fi nish in the MAC and an 6-4 overall fi nish.

Head coach Brice Biggins, who is entering his 16th season, returns nine letterwinners and welcomes eight new faces to the squad.

Leading the team this year will be tri-captains, Julie Huynh, Jill Kowalski and Kristen Peters. Huynh, a senior, competed in all

10 meets while earning three top-fi ve fi nishes in the fl oor exercise and posted a season high score of 9.800 against MAC foe Eastern

Michigan. Kowalski, a 2006 All-MAC fi rst team honoree and regional qualifer, ranked second in the league in bars (9.760) and acquired 13

top-three finishes in the vault, bars and beam. Peters accumalated six bar titles last year while being ranked fi rst in the MAC and 10th in the

 CentralRegion in bars (9.820). The Golden Flashes finished third at the 2006 MAC Gymnastics Championship with 192.700 points.

 

Central Michigan, tabbed the MAC Championship winner, returns three seniors, one junior, three sophomores and introduces four freshmen

for the 2007 season. Senior Sheena Smith, who ranked second in the MAC in both the vault and uneven bars, will return after shoulder

surgery. The lone junior for the ?07 team is Danielle Espinoze. Espinoze, a regional qualifer for the fl oor exercise, fi nished fourth at last

year’s championship. Sophomore Jessica Neel was the only Chippewa to compete in every event in every meet during the 2006 season.

Central Michigan took second place at last year’s conference championship.

 

Western Michigan, also 2006 regular season co-champions, looks to defend its title, its third in school history. Western Michigan was picked

to finish third in the preseason poll. Terri Karwoski, voted the Coach of the Year in 2006, enters her ninth season and welcomes newly hired

assistant coach Kevin Anderson to the Bronco’s squad. Senior Jennifer Sturgis, a fi rst team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC selection,

placed 36th (28.100) at the 2006 NCAA Regionals. Sturgis placed fi rst on the vault and beam while winnig the All-Around event at the ?06

Championship.

 

Northern Illinois concluded its 2006 season with a fi fth place fi nish at the MAC Championship and was picked to end the ?07 season

fourth. Seventh year head coach Mark Sontag welcomes back junior Jennifer Naughton, who tied for second place (9.850) on the

vault at last year’s championship. Eastern Michigan, voted to fi nish fi fth in the league, returns twelve letterwinners to its roster. Among

those twelve, the Eagles welcome back the 2006 MAC Freshman of the Year Duyen Zu Vuong and the 2006 Specialist of the Year,

Tawna Bennett. Coach Steve Wilce, led his team to a fourth place fi nish at last year’s Championship and had twelve student-athletes

receive NACGC/W Academic honor, the most in the nation.

 

Bowling Green was tabbed to fi nish in sixth for the upcoming season. Coming off a 3-3 MAC fi nish and a 7-11 overall season, the

Falcons welcome back Bethany Kenel, a senior who led the team in scores on beam and posted a career best of 9.825 against MAC

rival Central Michigan. Lisa Simonton enters her second year as the head coach for Ball State. For the second consecutive year, the

Cardinals are tabbed to fi nish seventh in the league. Ball State welcomes back Academic All-MAC honoree Lauren West and All-

MAC second team selections Kelly Watson and Erica Gilkerson.

 

The Mid American Conference Gymnastics Championship will be held at Eastern Michigan Univeristy in Ypsilanti, Mich. on March,

31, 2007