Gymnastics Weekend Preview

Updated 1/24/2013

Ball State
Complete Release
Ball State's gymnastics team, which defeated the 16th-ranked team in the nation last week, will host Northern Illinois Friday at 7 p.m. in Irving Gym.

The meet will be the team's Alumni Meet.
 
The Cardinals managed a 194.5 to 194.175 victory last Friday over Central Michigan, which entered the meet ranked 16th in the nation as the defending Mid-American Conference Champion.
 
Under the direction of head coach Nadalie Walsh, Ball State will host Northern Illinois this week.  The Huskies enter the meet 2-0 on the season after opening with wins over Illinois State and Bowling Green.
 
With the win over CMU, the Cardinals improved to 1-2 on the season and 1-0 in the MAC.  Ball State's 194.500 team score tied for the 13th best mark in school history and was the team's top score since the 2002 season.
 
Friday's meet is free admission and will take place in Irving Gym, which is located in Ball State's Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
 

Bowling Green 
Complete Release
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team continues its string of Mid-American Conference matchups, taking on No. 25 Eastern Michigan Saturday on the road in Ypsilanti, Mich.

The Falcons are 0-1 against MAC competitors this year, after Northern Illinois overcame an early deficit to come away with the win, 192.775-192.525.  The Falcons set season-best scores on vault (48.975), balance beam (48.250) and as a team, but errors in the second half of the meet cost the team its first win of the season.
 
"This weekend, we will be looking to build on the good start we had at NIU last weekend," said head coach Kerrie Beach.  "We are working hard to make some improvements on floor and get the lineup steady.  I would also expect some new faces in the bar lineup as well."
 
Eastern Michigan opened the season last week with a loss to Western Michigan, but a strong score of 194.475 carried them into the nation's top 25 for the week.  The Eagles were solid across all four events, totaling 48.725 on vault, 48.475 on bars, 48.650 on beam and 48.625 on floor.
 
"EMU had a great opening meet so our team has been really focusing on the details and making sure our confidence is up and ready to hit routines," Beach said.  "I think our first few meets have been a great learning experience and we are now ready to really hit the entire competition this weekend.  Our goal is four solid rotations."
 
Last week saw season debuts for Danielle Wishart and Katrina Carpenter.  Wishart competed on vault for the Falcons, earning a 9.8.  A two-time NCAA regional qualifier, she is still coming back from a back strain that has limited her training.  Carpenter, a freshman, joined the floor lineup for the first time following a preseason wrist injury that slowed her progress.  
 
The MAC showdown between the Falcons and the Eagles is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. inside Bowen Field House on the campus of EMU.

 

Central Michigan 
Complete Release
MOUNT PLEASANT – Twentieth-ranked Central Michigan gymnastics will take on the No. 1 team in the nation this weekend when it travels to face top-ranked Michigan, host No. 12 Minnesota, and Iowa State in a quad meet in Minneapolis. The four-team competition is scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET start on Saturday at the Golden Gophers’ home venue, the Sports Pavilion.

CMU will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season, a narrow 194.500-194.175 road setback to Ball State. The Chippewas established new season highs in three events, including registering a 49.075 in the balance beam, but CMU could not overcome a subpar set in the uneven bars in the first rotation, which forced it to count two falls.
 
Sophomores Taylor Noonan and Kylie Fagan and junior Emily Heinz highlighted CMU’s outing versus the Cardinals. Noonan won the balance beam with a career high 9.925, becoming just the fifth Chippewa in program history to ever earn that score, while Fagan captured first in the uneven bars (9.875) for the second straight week. Heinz notched three top three finishes, including a second place effort in the balance beam (9.850).
 
With its 49.000-plus effort in the balance beam last weekend, CMU moved up to No. 11 nationally in the event. The Chippewas are also ranked No. 24 (tie) in the floor exercise, No. 26 (tie) in the uneven bars, and No. 33 in the vault.
 
Ranked No. 10 in the preseason coaches’ poll, Michigan has quickly ascended to the top spot with three straight impressive wins to start the 2013 season. Last weekend, the Wolverines recorded the nation’s second highest score thus far this year, posting a 197.350 in a dual meet win over Illinois. As a team, Michigan is ranked No. 2 in the floor exercise and No. 3 in the uneven bars and the balance beam.
 
Minnesota is off to a fast start to 2013 as well, defeating Washington in its opener and then placing first in a road quad meet with Penn State, Kent State, and Towson. The Golden Gophers are positioned in the top 10 nationally in the vault (No. 6) and the floor exercise (No. 7). Individually, Kayla Slechta is ranked No. 1 (tie) in the vault, averaging a 9.938.
 
Iowa State has won both meets thus far on its 2013 schedule, beating UW-La Crosse on January 6 and preseason MAC favorite Kent State, 193.625-193.575, last weekend in Ames. The Cyclones received votes in the coaches’ preseason poll but have dropped to No. 45 after two competitions.
 
CMU has met all three of its opponents this weekend in previous years, posting a 1-0 record versus Minnesota, a 1-3 mark against Iowa State, and winning six of 34 meetings against in-state foe Michigan. Most recently, the Chippewas downed the host Golden Gophers in a tri-meet with Illinois in Champaign in 2011, topping them 194.525- 194.325.
 
Central Michigan remains on the road next week, visiting the Windy City for a meet that will pit two Michigan teams against two squads from the state of Illinois. The Chippewas will combine with Eastern Michigan to compete against host Illinois-Chicago and Illinois State. Despite the pairing, all team scores will be counted separately. The quad meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Flames’ Physical Education Building in Chicago.
 
Eastern Michigan 
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YPSILANTI, Mich.  –  The Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team welcomes the Bowling Green State University Falcons to Bowen Field House for a Mid-American Conference tilt, Jan. 26 Both teams enter looking for their first win of the season as the Eagles enter tonight's meet with a 0-1 (0-1 MAC) record while the Falcons come to Ypsilanti, sporting a 0-3 (0-1 MAC) record.
 
WHAT A SCORE!: Although EMU did not come away with a victory at Western Michigan, the Eagles' impressive score of 194.475 to begin the season was a historical mark. It was the highest season-opening team score recorded in school history as well as the second highest score in a Mid-American Conference opener. The team's mark was also the highest EMU score since the 2007 season, where the EMU gymnasts took home the Mid-American Conference Championship with a score of 194.525, March 31, 2007.
 
SOARING INTO THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: EMU comes into tonight's meet ranked No. 25 in the NCAA National Rankings for the week of Jan. 21, released by GymInfo. This is the first time the Eagles have been ranked in the top-25 since the 1997 season.
 
HUDSON SHINES IN EMU DEBUT In her collegiate debut against Western Michigan, freshman Khadijah Hudson led the Eagles on the vault and the floor exercise, scoring a 9.800 in each event.  Both scores were good enough for runner-up finishes in the respective events against the Broncos as Hudson was named Mid-American Conference Specialist of the Week, Jan. 23.
 
SCOUTING THE FALCONS: Bowling Green, picked fourth in the MAC Preseason Poll, will look for its first win of the season against the Eagles tonight. The Falcons are coming off a loss on the road to conference foe, Northern Illinois, 192.525-192.775. BGSU opened the season at home in Anderson Arena, dropping contests to both No. 19 Ohio State, Jan. 5, and Texas Woman's University, Jan. 12.
 
LAST TIME AGAINST BOWLING GREEN: Eastern Michigan dropped its season finale, March 17, 2012, to the Falcons, 193.675-190.950, in Anderson Arena. Anna Willette led the Eagles on the vault placing second, matching her season-high 9.800. Willette continued to pace the Green and White on the uneven parallel bars recording a 9.725, and Brittany Cassar was EMU's top gymnast on the balance beam recording a 9.600 and a fourth place finish. Senior Kristen Yourick earned the top spot for her performance on the floor exercise, recording a 9.825.
 
MICHIGAN/ILLINOIS CHALLENGE AWAITS: The EMU gymnasts will travel to the “Windy City”, Chicago, Ill., for the Michigan/Illinois Challenge, Feb. 2.  The Green and White will face three opponents, Illinois State, Illinois-Chicago and Central Michigan before combining team scores with the fellow-Michigan school Chippewas against the two schools from Illinois.

 

Kent State
Complete Release 
Kent, Ohio -- Kent State Gymnastics (2-2) is set to host conference mate Western Michigan (2-0) as well as George Washington (4-2) in what will be the team's first appearance at home this season. The meet will begin at 7:00 p.m in the M.A.C. Center. Listen to Ty Linder with the call at http://www.iheart.com/live/6068/

The Golden Flashes are coming off an impressive performance at Penn State that vaulted the program into the top 25 nationally. The team currently sits at No. 23. Kent State finished second out of four teams, defeating host Penn State as well as Towson. They were unable to edge No. 12 ranked Minnesota, as the Golden Gophers were able to hang on to the lead by a slim margin of .075. During the meet 12 personal records were broken by eight seperate gymnasts in what resulted in Kent State's first ever defeat of the Nittany Lions.
 
Northern Illinois
Complete Release
DeKALB, Ill. - After consecutive come-from-behind home victories in its first two meets of the season, the Northern Illinois women's gymnastics team faces its first road test of 2013 when the Huskies take on Ball State Friday night at Irving Gym in the Ball State Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
 
Ball State offers free admission to the meet and will stream the event live, as well as offer live stats. Both links will be available prior to the meet here.
 
NIU is 2-0, 1-0 in the Mid-American Conference, with a season-best team score of 192.775. Ball State comes into the meet 1-2, 1-0 after upsetting No. 16 Central Michigan, the defending MAC champions, last week.
 
Western Michigan
Complete Release
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- The No. 28 ranked Western Michigan gymnastics team faces No. 23 Kent State on the road Friday in a key Mid-American Conference matchup. George Washington also will compete in the tri-meet, which begins at 7 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center.
PRESEASON FAVORITES
Kent State and Western Michigan were slated to finish 1-2 in the 2013 MAC Preseason poll. The Golden Flashes were also selected to win the conference championship meet, which will be hosted by Western Michigan on March 23.
 
SCOUTING REPORT
Western Michigan is off to a 2-0, 1-0 MAC start, posting a 193.500 to 192.725 victory at Michigan State, Jan. 12, and a 194.975 to 194.475 home win over Eastern Michigan, Jan. 20. An experienced Bronco squad features seven seniors and returns 14 members from last year.
 
Kent State is 2-2 on the season and will be competing in its first MAC meet. The Golden Flashes fell at Iowa State in their season opener, 193.625 to 193.575, and took second in a four-team meet last week. KSU recorded its program's first ever win over Penn State and also defeated Towson in that quad meet, recording a team total of 195.450. The 195.450 is the highest score recorded by a MAC team this season.