Courtesy: Courtesy Photo
Taylor Noonan receives team MVP honors for her balance beam performance at Saturday's quad meet hosted by Minnesota. The sophomore scored a 9.850 to finish in a tie for second place.
Noonan Stars on Beam for No. 20 CMU at Minnesota Quad Meet
MINNEAPOLIS – Sophomore Taylor Noonan finished tied for second in the balance beam to lead the No. 20 Central Michigan gymnastics team at a quad meet hosted by the University of Minnesota on Saturday evening. The Chippewas scored a 194.650 to placed third while the No. 12 Golden Gophers (196.800) upset top-ranked Michigan (196.775) to win the competition. Iowa State finished fourth (193.350).

“(Taylor) looked really good,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard. “I actually thought it was an underscored routine for her. She had a nice routine.”

For her efforts, Noonan received team MVP honors for the meet.

The Chippewas established a new team season high in the floor exercise, posting a 48.950 in the second rotation, but for the second straight week, slight missteps in the opening rotation placed CMU at an early disadvantage. Despite Noonan’s stellar 9.850 performance, the Chippewas totaled a season low 48.225 in the balance beam.

Central Michigan responded in the next rotation, getting back into the competition on the floor. Noonan again led CMU, recording a career-high score of 9.825. Senior Emily LaFontaine, junior Emily Heinz, and sophomore Halle Moraw also performed well, with each earning a 9.800.

Rotating to the vault, CMU totaled a 48.750. As has been the trend this season to date, freshman Kirsten Petzold and senior Meaghan McWhorter highlighted the CMU line-up. Petzold scored a 9.800 while McWhorter had a 9.775.

CMU wrapped up the competition on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.725. Sophomore Kylie Fagan was once again the Chippewas’ headliner in the event, as she placed fifth with a 9.800. Sophomore Taylor Bolender finished right behind Fagan in the even standings, contributing a 9.775.

“We had some really good performances tonight,” Reighard said. “But we left a lot on the table and you can't do that against that caliber of competition. Overall, though, it was a good meet for us.”

“We will keep our nose down and keep pursuing that 196.000”

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.