CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Kent State gymnastics started the season off with a 194.725-192.375 win over Southeast Missouri State at the Houck Field House in Cape Girardeau.
The Golden Flashes (1-0) push the win streak over the Redhawks (0-1) to five straight with the all-time record going to 5-1.
"As a coaching staff we couldn't be a lot more pleased with the first performance of the year, especially on the road." Golden Flashes head coach Brice Biggin said. "Everybody came out and did their job today."
Leading the way for the Golden Flashes as senior Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) who took first in the uneven parallel bars (9.825), balance beam (9.750) and the floor exercise (9.800). Junior Nicole Radon (Hamburg, N.Y.) and freshman Olivia Trout (Concord, Ohio) joined Case in the balance beam as they all tied for first as Rebecca Osmer tied Case in the uneven parallel bars.
Trout, who tied for first in the balance beam, also took first in the Vault with a score of 9.825 and took third in the floor exercise (9.725) in her first meet as a Golden Flash. Junior Amiah Mims (Indianapolis, Ind.) took second in the floor exercise as Kent State finished first, second and third in that routine.
Kent State returns to action Friday, January 17 as they host a quad-meet against Eastern Michigan, George Washington and Rutgers at 7 pm in the M.A.C. Center.
Oregon State 195.200, Ohio State 194.750, Bowling Green 191.950
Columbus, Ohio – The Bowling Green gymnastics team faced a tough task in its season opener Saturday as the Falcons matched up against a pair of top 20 teams in No. 12 Oregon State and No. 19 Ohio State. It didn’t help matters when the Falcons struggled on the balance beam in their first rotation. BGSU, though, bounced back to perform well in the final rotations to score 191.950. Oregon State won with a 195.200 and Ohio State was second with a 194.750.
With a 48.625, Bowling Green posted the best team score on the floor for the entire meet. The Falcons also had respectable scores of 48.650 on the vault and 48.775 on bars to rebound from the slow start.
“Our team did a great job refocusing their efforts after the tough start on balance beam,” Head Coach Kerrie Turner, the 2013 MAC Coach of the Year, said. “The other three events were very strong for us and it was especially great to see our team have the highest floor score.”
On the other three events, Oregon State scored 146.50, followed by Ohio State at 146.25 and BGSU at 146.05. The Falcons also had two individuals post the top score at the meet. Alyssa Nocella, the defending MAC Champion in the balance beam, scored a career-best 9.800 on the floor exercise. Amanda Lievendag was one of four competitors to score 9.875 on the bars, tying her career-best in the event. On top of those results, Lauren Feely tied for second with a 9.825 on vault.
Nocella had the team’s top all-around score with a 38.375, followed by Megan Harrington with a 38.150.
“I have no doubt this is a highly competitive team within the conference and across the country,” Turner said. “We will address the issues on balance beam this week in practice and focus on details in the other events.”
BGSU will open Mid-American Conference action Friday night as the Falcons compete at Western Michigan at 7 p.m.
Ball State placed fourth at the Kentucky Classic behind nationally ranked Kentucky plus Penn State and West Virginia.
The Cardinals tallied a 190.875 mark, which bettered their season opening team score of 190.00 at Illinois State last week. Kentucky, which entered the meet ranked 21st in the country, tallied a 195.00, while Penn State finished with a 193.975 and West Virginia was third with a 193.700.
Denasiha Christian tied for fifth on the floor exercise to lead the Cardinals with a 9.80 mark. Erin Patchey was Ball State's top finisher on the vault with a tie for fifth and a score of 9.725. Brooklyn Schumacher led the Cardinals with a tie for ninth and a score of 9.750 on the bars. Miranda Kuehl tied for 13th on the balance beam with a 9.625 mark.
The Cardinals will host Iowa Friday at 7 p.m. in Irving Gym at Ball State's Student Wellness and Recreation Center. The meet is free of charge to all fans.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Seniors Emily Heinz and Brittany Petzold led the Central Michigan gymnastics team to a resounding victory over No. 24 Maryland on Friday, Jan. 10, in McGuirk Arena, 194.800-192.050.
Heinz and Petzold combined to finish first on four of the five events. Heinz took first on beam (9.800) and tied with Petzold for the top spot on floor (9.850). Petzold captured the vault title (9.825) and first place in the all-around (39.175). Heinz was also second on vault with a (9.775)
The Chippewas opened the meet on vault, scoring a 48.625, with CMU’s seniors taking first and second place. The Terrapins struggled in the first rotation, posting a 47.750 on bars to give CMU almost a full point lead early in the meet. In the second rotation, CMU competed on bars where CMU’s Taylor Bolender, Megan Lamphere, Kylie Fagan along with Maryland’s Kathy Tang all tied for first with a 9.825. The Chippewas finished the rotation with a final score of 48.925 compared to UM’s 48.475 on vault.
Up next was beam where CMU finished with a 48.725. Heinz and Maryland’s Stephanie Giameo tied for first with a 9.800, with CMU’s Halle Moraw and Fagan finishing tied for third with a 9.775. CMU finished their final rotation on floor, scoring a 48.525. Both seniors Heinz and Petzold tied for first place, allowing Halle Moraw and Marylands Karen Tang tying for third with a 9.775.
The Chippewas take on William and Mary at home Friday, January 17, at 7 p.m., in McGuirk Arena.
Nebraska 196.625, Northern Illinois 192.525
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Northern Illinois University gymnastics team kicked off its 2014 season with a 196.625-192.525 loss to the No. 10 Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Neb., but the season-opening performance had NIU head coach Sam Morreale encouraged about the season to come.
En route to an excellent season-opening score, NIU ran into trouble on its last event, the balance beam, as a crowd of 2,746 watched the Huskers' "Rumble and Tumble" meet featuring simultaneous gymnastics and wrestling competitions. Despite the stumble on beam, Morreale was enthusiastic about the event and the season to come.
"It was great," Morreale said. "The venue was full, it was loud, it was raucous and everything you expect in a Big 10 meet. The kids stepped up, they weren't intimidated, they weren't afraid. I'm really, really encouraged. It's good to get this first one out of the way. This is a good indication for us that we're not just talking about being better, we are there. It speaks to the work they've put in, and to the depth of our team. We don't have to change anything, our skill level is there, we just need to get cleaner in our execution. "
NIU came through its first three events with solid scores as NIU did not count a miss (fall) on the uneven parallel bars, vault or floor exercise. The Huskies started the meet with a 48.475 on bars with senior Kim Gotlund leading the way with a career-high 9.800 to tie for fourth. Sophomore Kylie Clark backed up Gotlund with a 9.725 on bars in her Huskie debut.
"The 48.475 on bars, we are extremely happy with that," Morreale said. "If that's where we start [the season], it bodes well for where we can get on bars. On vault, we put six 10.0 vaults up for the first time in I don't know how long and we even made a late change and still could go to a 10.0. We vaulted really, really well and I was very, very impressed and excited about the freshmen."
The Huskies posted their highest team event score of the night on vault with a 48.600 behind a 9.825 from sophomore Jaelyn Olsen and a 9.775 by senior Megan Melendez. Olsen took fourth place on the event, which also featured the debuts of NIU freshmen Megan Greenfield, Courtney Dowdell and Megan Gilliam, who contributed scores of 9.725, 9.675 and 9.600, respectively.
Gotlund, the Huskies' only all-arounder, also led the Huskies on floor exercise with a 9.750 as NIU tallied a 48.400 team score on floor. Gotlund took fifth place and junior Shelby Davis was close behind with a 9.725 for sixth, while Dowdell and Gilliam added matching 9.650s.
Senior Natasha Jufko, a beam specialist, provided a bright spot on balance beam for NIU with a 9.700 to tie for sixth. Junior Amanda Stepp was also solid with a 9.600. Gotlund rounded out a 38.575 all-around score with a 9.500 on beam for the Huskies.
"Beam didn't go great, but even there, we rebounded [during the event]," Morreale said. "It's not that they are not ready, not good or confident. We're legitimately two points better on beam, as I said it's probably our best event and I still feel that way. I'm confident that's not going to be an issue for us."
NIU is off next week before returning to action at home versus Ball State on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. The meet will mark the home opener and Mid-American Conference opener for the 2014 Huskies. NIU is offering free admission to all home gymnastics meets this year.
Arkansas 196.200, Bridgeport 190.975, Western Michigan 190.650
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.- The 2014 Western Michigan gymnastics season officially got underway with a three-team meet Friday, Jan. 10 between the Broncos, Bridgeport and host Arkansas.
WMU placed third in the meet with a 190.650, slightly behind Bridgeport’s 190.975. The nationally No. 11 ranked Razorbacks won the outing with a 196.200.
“We started off on bars where nerves were a real challenge for us,” said first-year WMU head coach Penny Jernigan. “The team refocused and turned in a strong performance on beam. Floor had some bright spots, but we still have a lot of work to do to bring that event up to speed. We increased our difficulty on vault this week and look to continue that trend over the next couple of meets.”
Western Michigan scored a 46.925 in its first rotation on the uneven bars and stepped up to record a 48.475 on balance beam, its best rotation of the night. The Broncos followed with a 46.975 on the floor exercise and ended with a 48.275 on vault.
Sophomore Jessi Buis turned in the best individual performance for Western Michigan, placing second on vault with a 9.800. Buis is the reigning Mid-American Conference vault champion. WMU was young in the event, where four freshmen filled six lineup spots. Anna Corbett led off, followed by classmates Lauren Vandenberg and Brittany Aragon. Sophomore Kayla Weber went fourth, freshman Audry Merritt went fifth and Buis anchored the event.
Jessie Peszek was the fifth Bronco freshman to make her first collegiate appearance and had WMU’s next highest finish. She tied for fifth on the balance beam with a 9.800 and also scored a 9.650 on the bars, tying for 10th. Senior Shelby MacDonald had a pair of top-10 finishes as well with a seventh place showing of 9.750 on bars and a 9.700 on beam, good for 10th.
Weber was the lone all-arounder for Western Michigan and totaled a 37.275, finishing sixth.
Arkansas senior All-American Katherine Grable claimed event titles on the vault, floor and all-around where she totaled a 39.475.
Western Michigan returns to Kalamazoo to host back-to-back home MAC meets the next two Fridays. Bowling Green visits on Parents Day, Friday, Jan. 17, and Kent State challenges the Broncos on Girls Day, Friday, Jan. 24. Both meets begin at 7 p.m. at University Arena and admission is free.