MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – No. 19 Central Michigan gymanstics takes on Mid-American Conference rival No. 25 Kent State on Sunday, Feb. 16, in McGuirk Arena at 1 p.m.
These two teams have dominated the MAC since the late 1980s. Between Central Michigan and Kent State, they have won 23 of the last 26 MAC Championships and they have either won or shared all 11 MAC regular season titles.
“Every year, it comes down to us and Kent State and this year is no different,” CMU head coach Jerry Reighard said. “I expect both teams to be at their best on Sunday because we always seem to bring it out of each other. The important thing about this meet is eliminating the small mistakes because every tenth will matter versus Kent State.”
The MAC preseason coach’s poll picked Kent State to finish first in the conference this season while CMU was selected to take second. Currently the Golden Flashes are ranked second in the MAC, with Central Michigan holding the top spot. Kent State has the MAC’s top team score on vault, averaging 0.105 higher than the Chippewas. Central Michigan has the top individual score on all four events and the top team marks on bars, beam and floor.
Under head coach Brice Biggin, the Golden Flashes are 6-1 this season, falling only to Rutgers on Jan. 17. Kent State senior Marie Case is ranked No. 32 nationally in the all-around with an average score of 39.088.
Last season, the Chippewas lost at Kent State, 196.050-194.900.
Both Central Michigan and Kent State made 2013 NCAA Regional Championship appearances.
Central Michigan Notes:
· No. 19 Central Michigan gymnastics hit the road for two meets last weekend against Eastern Michigan (Friday) and Bowling Green (Sunday). The Chippewas set a record on the road, posting the best team score at a regular season away meet in program history with a 196.500 versus BGSU. CMU also continued its streak of having a gymnast in sole possession of or tied for first place on every event this season (28-of-28).
· Central Michigan is currently ranked first in the MAC, right in front of Kent State. CMU is 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the MAC. In terms of team score, the Chippewas are ranked first on every event except vault, where they sit in second, .105 behind Kent State. The Chippewas are ranked No. 4 in the region in average team score.
· Senior Brittany Petzold holds the MAC’s top spot in all-around and is ranked No. 26 nationally. Her performance against the Falcons on Sunday placed her in first in the all-around with a 39.225. Petzold tied for first on bars (9.850) and vault (9.875) against Bowing Green.
· Central Michigan gymnastics is ranked No. 19 in the nation for average team score. The Chippewas currently hold the No. 15 spot on floor and beam, No. 22 on bars and No. 31 on vault. CMU is ranked No. 4 in the Central Region, just behind Auburn, Alabama and LSU.