MOUNT PLEASANT –
Central Michigan gymnastics put together one of the program’s top home performances on Sunday to kick off a new era in McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas defeated Northern Illinois, 195.750-189.100, as CMU posted its best home score since 2005. The meet was a part of the inaugural Royal Rumble and Tumble as the CMU wrestling team competed at the same time and beat Old Dominion, 18-16. Sunday was also the first time the gymnastics team has competed in McGuirk Arena.
“Our motto of this week was undeniable and I think that is a perfect word to describe today’s performance,” head coach Jerry Reighard said. “We didn’t want to give the judges any reason to mark us down with the small mistakes that have hurt us over the past few weeks.
“We also wanted to show our fans what type of team we are and leave no doubt we can compete at the highest level. I thought the atmosphere of the event was fantastic and felt like our team thrived on the energy in the arena. I have wanted to do a combined meet for a few years and I am so proud that our department could pull it off so successfully.”
The Chippewas dominated the meet, taking the top four spots in each events. The squad was led by all-arounders Kristin Teubner and Brittany Petzold . Teubner won three events including the all-around with a career-high 39.250. She also won vault (9.850) and floor (9.925). Petzold, a true freshman, also had a career-best in the all-around with a 39.150, along with an event victory on bars (9.875).
“I was so proud of both Kristin and Brittany today and it was great to see all their hard work pay off,” Reighard said. “We expected Brittany to be an impact performer in the all-around even as a freshman. She struggled a little bit the first few weeks but we continued to have confidence in her and that really paid off today.
“Kristin has always been a solid competitor for us in three events but she really has turned it up the last couple of weeks. Even though her performance today was a little bit of a surprise, she deserves every point of it because of how hard she works.”
The Chippewas scored season highs on each event beginning with vault (48.900). Teubner led the way with Andrea de la Garza taking second (9.825) and Darrian Tissenbaum third (9.775). Next up for CMU was bars with the squad posting a 48.825. After Petzold, it was de la Garza second (9.800) while Samantha Piotrowski and Alyssa Wilson tying for third (9.725).
In the third rotation, Central Michigan posted a 48.900. Freshman Emily Heinz won the event with a career-best 9.850 while Teubner and de la Garza tied for second (9.775). CMU saved its best for last as it scored a 49.125 on floor. Teubner won the event, Cheryl Conlin was second (9.875) and Petzold was third 9.800.
The Chippewas head back out on the road to begin another three-meet road swing when they travel to No. 19 Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 5. No. 18 Minnesota will also be at the meet which is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET.