MAC Gymnast and Specialist of the Week

Updated 2/11/2014

Gymnast of the Week

Megan Harrington, Bowling Green, Senior

Megan Harrington scored a career-best 39.100 in the all-around at the Chicago Style Invite and then almost equaled that score with a 39.075 Sunday against Central Michigan. Harrington placed second in the all-around in each meet, the first coming against No. 18 Boise State, North Carolina and Illinois-Chicago. She scored season-highs in the vault (9.800) and the bars (9.725) in the opening meet of the weekend, then set a career-high in the beam (9.850) and tied her bars score (9.725) in the meet against Central Michigan. She scored at least 9.675 in all eight rotations on the week. Harrington led the Falcons to a 2-2 weekend with losses to a pair of top 20 ranked teams and an upset win over North Carolina.

Specialist of the Week

Natasha Jufko, Northern Illinois, Senior

For the second week in a row, NIU senior Natasha Jufko tied her career high and won the balance beam event with a score of 9.850. There was only one score higher than 9.850 in the entire meet, her 9.850 was the Huskies’ highest score of the meet and ties her beam score last week as the highest score on any event by an NIU gymnast in 2014. She tied for first place on balance beam with Kent State’s Marie Case.

Other Nominees

Halle Moraw, Central Michigan, Junior

Moraw posted four first-place finishes over the weekend as Central Michigan went 2-0 in a pair of MAC road meets. In CMU’s victory over Eastern Michigan, the junior vaulted for the first time this season and came away with a career best 9.875 to take first on the event. She also won floor with a 9.850. In CMU’s record-breaking victory over Bowling Green on Sunday, Moraw again won vault and floor. Her 9.925 on floor is the best score in the MAC this season while she matched her career-high on vault with a 9.875 to match four others for first place. CMU’s team score of 196.500 on Sunday is the best score in program history in a regular season road meet.

Anna Willette, Eastern Michigan, Junior

Eastern Michigan junior Anna Willette recorded season-highs of 9.800 on both vault and beam, helping the Eagles tally a team total of 194.600 against Central Michigan, Feb. 7. The mark on beam was tied for the meet’s highest score in the event. Willette’s vault score was enough for a fourth-place finish.

Marie Case, Kent State, Senior

Senior Marie Case led Kent State Gymnastics to a 195.675-193.375 win over Northern Illinois on Friday, February 7 in Kent, Ohio as the Golden Flashes improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the MAC.. Case finished the All-Around in first with a total score of 39.300 as she tied for first in the vault (9.850) and on the balance beam (9.850). She tied for second on her floor exercise with a score of 9.850 and tied for third on the uneven parallel bars with a score of 9.750.

Kim Gotlund, Northern Illinois, Senior

Kim Gotlund led NIU to its highest team score of the season with her most consistent performance of the year as she posted a season-high all-around score of 38.925 at Kent State Friday night. Gotlund earned a score of 9.700 or higher on all four events for the first time this season. She led NIU on uneven parallel bars with a 9.700 to finish fifth on that event, and recorded the Huskies’ second-best score on both balance beam and floor exercise with 9.750s. She tied for fifth on beam and tied for sixth on floor exercise. Her 9.725 on vault – good for sixth place - and 9.750 on beam represented season best scores on those events.

Jessi Buis, Western Michigan, Sophomore

Sophomore Jessi Buis won vault against Ball State, was runner-up on floor exercise and placed fifth on the balance beam. Buis’ first-place vault score was a 9.825 and her second-place floor score was a 9.825, both were season highs. Her beam total was a 9.550. Buis has either won vault or finished second in all four of WMU’s MAC duals this year. Her efforts helped Western Michigan earn its first victory of the year, giving Penny Jernigan her first victory as a head coach. The Broncos scored a season-high 193.175.

Brooke Evans, Ball State, Sophomore

Brooke Evans tied her career high with a vault of 9.825 in Ball State’s meet at Western Michigan and helped the Cardinals to a season-high team score of 48.725 on the vault. Evans tied for first in the event.

Megan Valentini, Bowling Green, Senior

Megan Valentini competed on beam and floor in both of the team’s meets this weekend, scoring at least a 9.675 each time she competed. At the Chicago Style Meet, she scored a 9.675 on beam and 9.750 on floor, finishing seventh, to help the Falcons to a 2-1 record, including an upset of North Carolina. She followed that up with a 9.750 on beam and a 9.775 on floor against Central Michigan, helping the team to its best overall score in nine years with a 195.550.

Taylor Noonan, Central Michigan, Junior

Noonan continued her strong run on the balance beam with a pair of first place finishes this weekend. She posted a 9.800 to tie for first on beam against Eastern Michigan and tallied a 9.900 to win the event in CMU’s record breaking performance at Bowling Green. CMU’s team score of 196.500 at BGSU is the best score in program history in a regular season road meet.

Ashley Quinton, Eastern Michigan, Senior

Eastern Michigan University senior Ashley Quinton tied a personal-best with a 9.825 on bars in the Eagles’ Mid-American Conference dual versus Central Michigan. In her only event of the evening, the team co-captain finished third on the apparatus, assisting in the team’s total score of 194.600.

Jaymi Baxter, Kent State, Sophomore

Jaymi Baxter took first in the uneven parallel bars with a score of 9.850 for a new personal best as the Kent State gymnastics team defeated Northern Illinois 195.675-193.375 to improve to 6-1 overall and is now 3-0 in the MAC. Baxter took seventh on the vault with a score of 9.700.

Lauren Bledsoe, Western Michigan, Senior

In her only event of the afternoon, senior Lauren Bledsoe capped the meet against Ball State with a 9.900 on floor exercise, anchoring the event for WMU. It was the second time in Bledsoe’s career she has recorded a 9.900 on floor, also doing so against Ball State in 2012. The score ties as the third-highest in program history. Bledsoe’s performance also aided in giving Western Michigan its first victory of the year and Penny Jernigan her first victory as head coach. The Broncos scored a season-high 193.175 and had a season-best 49.025 on floor.