Gymnastics Weekend Results

Updated 3/11/2013

Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments 

Ball State
Ball State 193.500, Illinois-Chicago 196.300

Champaign, Ill. - Ball State's gymnastics team defeated Illinois-Chicago, but lost to Illinois in a three-way meet in Champaign, Ill., Sunday.

The Cardinals managed a 193.500 to defeat the 192.625 of UIC, but was outscored by Illinois' 196.300.
Denasiha Christian tied for third on the floor with a 9.875, which marked Ball State's top finish in the meet.
Nicole Allen tied for fourth on the vault with a 9.775, while Brittney Emmons and Brooke Evans tied for sixth with a pair of 9.75s.
Brooklyn Schumacher and Samantha Santos tied for fifth on the bars with a pair of 9.775 scores.
Leah Wilson placed sixth on the beam with a 9.700, while Emmons was sixth in the all-around with a 38.775.
Ball State will continue its regular season Friday at Southern Utah in a meet that will also include San Jose State and Iowa.  The Cardinals are 6-8 overall and 3-3 in the Mid-American Conference this season.
Bowling Green 
Kentucky 196.375, Bowling Green 192.700
Lexington, Ky. - The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team suffered a loss to No. 20 Kentucky on the road Friday, 196.375-192.700. Gina Locigno claimed her first all-around title of the season, while Amanda Lievendag stuck her uneven bars routine for a career-high 9.875 and her sixth individual win on the event this year.
The Falcons rolled through the first two events, hitting six strong routines on bars and vault. Megan Harrington led off with a 9.725, followed by hit routines from Locigno (9.675), Alyssa Nocella (9.7) and Caroline Ellingboe (9.75). Lievendag then stuck the best routine of the night to lead Bowling Green to a 48.725 - its second-highest bars tally of the year.
On vault, Kentucky started with a 49.100, led by a 9.875 from event winner Kenzie Hedges.
The Falcons continued to perform well on vault, with Locigno and Nocella leading off with strong 9.75 efforts. Sunny Marchand and Lievendag each hit 9.8 later in the lineup, setting up Jamilah Ali for a 9.825, good enough for third place on the event.
A 48.925 vault score gave the Falcons a 97.650 total at the halfway point, trailing Kentucky (98.125) by less than .500.
Floor exercise, the Falcons' best apparatus the past few meets, was an unlikely demon, as three gymnasts scored below 9.2. Nocella (9.775), Locigno (9.775) and Ellingboe (9.7) hit, but falls from Harrington and Ali, combined with an error from Megan Valentini, doomed the Falcons to a 47.350 for the event.
Meanwhile, Kentucky hit beam to pull away from Bowling Green, 147.250-145.000.
The Falcons failed to rebound on beam, as two gymnasts fell during their routines. After a shaky start from Ellingboe (8.55), Maria Salvia (9.625) and Locigno (9.65) fought to stay on the beam. Fourth in the lineup, Ali couldn't save a crooked flight series, scoring only 9.1. Nocella rebounded with a gutsy effort (9.575), before Harrington closed out the rotation with a 9.75.
In the end, the Falcons settled for a disappointing 196.375-192.700 loss to Kentucky. Bowling Green now falls to 4-11 (2-3 MAC) on the season, with one regular season meet remaining. The Falcons return home for senior day Saturday, March 16 at 4 p.m. against Western Michigan. The team then heads to the Mid-American Conference Championships on March 23 in Kalamazoo, Mich.


Central Michigan 
Maryland 196.025 , Central Michigan 195.575

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Central Michigan gymnastics team pushed No. 24 Maryland to its limit on its home floor but the Chippewas’ were edged by the Terrapins in a meet that came down to the final rotation. CMU scored a 195.575 in the evenly matched competition while Maryland posted a 196.025. Yale also participated, placing third with a 190.525 total.

The Chippewas were within striking distance heading into the final rotation, trailing Maryland 146.775-146.700. But, CMU couldn’t close the gap on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.875, while the Terrapins recorded a 49.250 in the floor exercise.

“That was an average CMU team that showed up today,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard. “We were really good in some places, but we couldn’t close the deal. We just didn’t have enough strong performances to do what we wanted to do.”

CMU recorded the meet’s highest score in the uneven bars while taking the top three places in the standings. Junior Brittany Petzold won the title, scoring a 9.850, while sophomore Kylie Fagan placed second (9.800) and sophomore Becca Druien finished third (9.775).

Petzold was again terrific in the all-around, placing second with a score of 39.225. Besides her title win in the uneven bars, she performed well in the vault, tying for fourth (9.825).

CMU started on the balance beam, scoring a 48.725, but fell behind early, as Maryland vaulted to a 49.175 in the opening rotation. Sophomore Halle Moraw, competing in the four spot in the line-up, came through with the performance of the day in the event, scoring a 9.850.

Rotating to the floor exercise, Central continued to excel in the event of late, scoring above a 49.000 for the third straight meet (49.025). With that score, CMU was able to overtake Maryland and temporarily claim the lead, 97.750-97.725. Five of the six Chippewas score a 9.800 or above, led by Moraw’s 9.825.

In rotation three, CMU moved to the vault, scoring a solid 48.950. Freshman Kirsten Petzold was the Chippewas’ top scorer, earning a 9.850 to finish in third place. In addition to Brittany Petzold’s key score, junior Emily Heinz contributed a 9.800.

CMU will return home to Mount Pleasant next weekend, hosting MAC rival Eastern Michigan on Senior Day. The Chippewas will clash with the Eagles in their regular season finale on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. in McGuirk Arena. Seniors Kari Dieffenderfer, Emily LaFontaine, and Meaghan McWhorter will be honored for their career contributions in a special ceremony following the meet.

Eastern Michigan
Kent State 195.050, Eastern Michigan 194.575
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( – The Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team finished runner-up as host of the Eagle Invitational at Bowen Field House, March 9, with a score of 194.575. Mid-American Conference foe Kent State University took the team title, tallying 195.050. Finishing behind the Eagles and Golden Flashes were the Air Force Academy (191.975) and the University of Alaska Anchorage (191.650) in third and fourth place, respectively.

Defeating two of its three opponents, EMU improves to 5-9 on the 2013 season. Kent St. continues its solid year with a 12-2 record, including 10 straight victories. Air Force falls to 6-12, and UAA drops to 4-8. The Eagle Invitational was the final home meet for EMU seniors Brittany Cassar, Camille Cicchini, Amanda Fuller and Kristina Kurkmilis.
Whitnee Johnson of Kent State took the all around title with a combined score of 38.825 in the four events while EMU's Khadijah Hudson placed runner-up, securing a 38.675.
The Eagles got off to a great start on the vault with a team score of 48.900 to take the early lead led by Anna Williette who tallied a 9.850 to take first indivdually. Kurkumilis and Fuller followed in fifth place, each scoring 9.800. Kent State was close behind in second with a 48.800 on the bars. The Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage turned in a 48.050 on the floor, and the Air Force Falcons followed with a 46.750 on the beam.
Eastern remained in the lead through two rotations after a 48.400 on the bars due to a runner-up finish by Carrina Lo Bello, earning a 9.700 from the judges. However, a 48.000 on the beam, once again behind a second-place 9.700 mark from Lo Bello, along with a strong 49.050 floor performance from Kent State gave the Golden Flashes the lead. Going into the final rotation, a 146.175 by KSU held the top spot on the leader board followed by EMU at 145.300. UAA stood in third with a 144.400, and USAFA remained in fourth place at 143.650.
The Green and White finished strong in from of its home crowd on the final rotation as five of the six Eagles recorded career-highs on the floor. Miller and Hudson tied for first with personal-bests 9.875 marks while Fuller and Kurkmilis tied for fifth, recording career-high scores of 9.850 in their final meet inside Bowen Field House. Chantelle Loehner took seventh with a personal-best 9.825 to round out the 49.275 score for the Eagles, a season best, to give Eastern a final tally of 194.575. However, Kent St. prevailed with a 195.050 for the victory.
EMU welcomed back past gymnasts for Alumni Day. The meet was also EMU's Wear Pink Meet with each team coming out in pink warm ups to support breast cancer awareness. The EMU gymnasts raised over $2,000 around the Ypsilanti community towards breast cancer research.
The Green and White will return to action Saturday March 16, traveling to Central Michigan University for a 2 p.m. start in the final meet before the MAC Championships, March 23, at Western Michigan University.


Kent State 
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The No. 17 Kent State Gymnastics team took their excellence on the road Saturday, March 9, and defeated not one, but three other teams. The Golden Flashes' won by a score of 195.275, a hard-earned score that helped place them ahead of Eastern Michigan, Air Force and Alaska-Anchorage. The wins also kept Kent State perfect in their conference schedule and earned them the regular-season Mid-American Conference Championship.

 "Although we're a little disappointed with the score [it may not help Kent State's national standing], we are extremely proud of our girls. To go 7-0 in the MAC is no easy feat," said head coach Brice Biggin. "These girls are working as a team, a whole unit and they really want this."
Leading the way for the Golden Flashes was sophomore Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.). Taking first place in the all-around with a score of 39.050, Johnson helped secure the teams victory and propel Kent State to a now 11-meet win streak. She put on her best performance of the night on vault, where she scored a 9.850. On the floor exercise, Johnson scored a 9.800 and a 9.700 on both the uneven bars and the balance beam.
Senior Rachel Guida continued her dominance on the uneven bars, scoring a 9.875 helping tie her with freshmen Katlin Isaacs and Nicolle Eastman. Both Eastman and Isaacs earned their 9.875 on the floor exercise earning each of them a share in the top spot.
Guida also earned a 9.825 on vault, aiding the Golden Flashes to a combined 49.100 vault score overall. Kent State's overall score falls just short of their season-high of 49.200.
Biggin adds, "I think it is important to note that as long as I have been a coach, I don't think I've ever had a team that didn't record a fall on the road. That's something you don't see often. A lot of times teams will enter a gym on the road and have difficulties in everything from crowd, to equipment, to just a different attitude and it can throw them off, but not these girls. They are some of the hardest working gymnasts out there and they have goal they plan to achieve."
Next up, Kent State will host a quad-meet featuring Southeast Missouri State, New Hampshire and Cornell on Friday, March 15. The meet is not only the last home meet of the season, but also the conclusion of the regular season for the Golden Flashes. The gymnasts are set to begin competition at 7 p.m.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Northern Illinois gymnastics team earned its highest scores of the season on uneven parallel bars and vault, but suffered some uncharacteristic falls on balance beam in its final event of the meet and dropped a 194.825-193.675 decision to Western Michigan Sunday at University Arena in Kalamazoo. 
The loss drops the Huskies’ record to 4-5 overall and NIU completes the MAC regular season 2-4 versus league foes.  WMU goes to 6-5, 3-2 MAC with the victory. 
Northern Illinois opened the meet in spectacular fashion on uneven parallel bars.  Freshman Lauren Africano (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais Community HS) got NIU started with a career-high 9.800 and every Huskie after her hit their routines. Junior Megan Melendez (Stafford, Va./North Stafford HS) capped off the event with a 9.825 to tie for second place.  Northern Illinois’ team score of 48.925 on bars tied the fifth-highest team bars score in school history and four Huskies recorded career highs on bars in the meet. 
“Everybody swung really well,” said NIU Head Coach Sam Morreale.  “We hit well and we landed well with three or four sticks. The 48.925 is huge for us.  [Lauren] got us going with the 9.8 and it got us moving in the right direction.”
The momentum continued on vault as Kelly Nortz (Bay Village, Ohio/Magnificat HS) started with a season-best 9.700 and two more Huskies hit their career or season highs, leading to a season-best 48.750 vault score for NIU.  That total tied as the seventh-highest score on vault ever for Northern Illinois.  Melendez recorded a career-best 9.775 on vault to tie for fifth place, while freshmen Jaelyn Olsen (Bethany, Okla./Putnam City West HS) led the way for NIU with a 9.800 to earn fourth.  
Seniors Marisa Liptak (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick HS) and Natalie Sutter (Barberton, Ohio/Coventry HS) led a solid, if not spectacular, outing for NIU on floor exercise, the Huskies’ third event of the day.  Liptak’s 9.800 score tied for second place as Northern Illinois hit its average on floor with a 48.800 team total.   Entering the final event, Northern Illinois held a 146.475-145.800 lead over the Broncos. 
Balance beam, normally one of NIU’s strongest events, would derail the Huskies’ push for the victory and the 195 score as only Kim Gotlund (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township HS) and Melendez managed to hit their routines.  Melendez won the event with a 9.825 and Gotlund took third with a 9.700, but the season-low 47.200 team score left the Huskies thinking about what could have been. 
“It was a bad day on beam for us, which is frustrating because we had a great meet going,” Morreale said.  “Prior to beam, we were hitting and everything was going well, then the wheels fell off and we couldn’t right the ship.  It was not a normal beam day for us, it’s definitely an aberration.  We still put up a respectable score [overall] but we definitely missed an opportunity.”
Despite the miscues on the final event, the Huskies’ performance on bars and vault served to confirm that NIU is poised to break the 195 mark in one of its final two meets of the season.   
“We’re not going to change what we’re doing and who we are,” Morreale said.  “I think we saw that if we just hit the four events we’re good to go.  With our skills and the way we’re performing the routines, if we do them [right], we’re going to score well.  We just have to hit and we will.” 
Northern Illinois will take on UIC, Illinois State and Illinois next Saturday in Chicago at the annual State of Illinois Classic.  The meet will begin at 5 p.m. at UIC’s Physical Education Building.   
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- The Western Michigan gymnastics team defeated Mid-American Conference counterpart Northern Illinois, 194.825 to 193.675, Sunday at University Arena. The team total was WMU's second highest of the year. With the win, WMU improved to 6-5 on the season and 3-2 in the MAC.
The Broncos led in the first and second rotations, but NIU pulled in front briefly after the third, 146.425 to 145.800. WMU closed out strong on floor exercise, scoring a 49.025, while the Huskies tallied a 47.200 on balance beam.
Western Michigan started off the meet on vault, and recorded the second highest team total in program history with a 49.050. The record was set last year under Kuzara at home against Ball State with a 49.175.
WMU had the top individual finisher in three of four events. Junior Lauren Bledsoe placed first on both vault (9.900) and floor (9.850). Her 9.900 on vault was a career-high and tied the second best score in school history.
Senior Caroline O'Brien also tied the second best score on the uneven bars, placing first with a career-high 9.900. It was O'Brien's second time this year registering a 9.900.
Freshman Kayla Weber won the all-around with a 39.175, which was good enough to tie for the third-highest total in school history. It was her second best all-around score of the year, second only to her school record-setting 39.300 against Eastern Michigan.
Weber finished runner-up on bars (9.825) and beam (9.775). She, O'Brien and senior Brittany Adams tied for second on floor, each with a 9.800. Freshman Jessi Buis was runner-up on vault (9.850).
The Broncos honored their seven seniors, Katlin Abbs, Brittany Adams, Hannah Brooks, Caroline O'Brien, Brynn Wienckowski, Lindsey Wienckowski and Sarah Wright after the meet. The senior class has been part of five of the top 10 meet scores in school history.
As part of Autism Awareness Day, WMU also held a special needs gymnastics demonstration prior to the meet with Larry Nassar. The Broncos raised over $1,500 towards the cause through a silent auction.
Western Michigan heads to Bowling Green , next Saturday, March 16, for its final regular season meet. The Broncos then host the 2013 MAC Championships, Saturday, March 23. It will be WMU's first time hosting since 2006, which is also the last team championship for Western Michigan. The championship meet rotates year-to-year between the seven conference schools that carry gymnastics.