DeKALB, Ill. - Central Michigan claimed at least a share of its second-straight Mid-American Conference regular season title Sunday, defeating Northern Illinois with a season-high 194.950.
The Chippewas (11-3) scored a season-best 49.0 on the balance beam in the final rotation to secure the victory.
The Chippewas improved to a perfect 5-0 in the MAC and remain as the only team with an unblemished record. They will host in-state rival Western Michigan on March 17 and a win would give CMU the outright regular season championship.
"We came down here with a purpose and we accomplished that," head coach Jerry Reighard said. "No one can ever take this championship away from this team. Northern Illinois is a very improved team from a year ago, but we executed like we needed to. We had a ball out there today."
CMU led after every rotation, but it was its performance on the beam in rotation four that put the meet away. All six gymnasts scored a 9.75 or better with senior Kristin Teubner leading the way with a season-best 9.875. Freshman Halle Moraw and sophomore Brittany Petzold also posted season-best marks in the event, scoring 9.75 and 9.85, respectively.
The Maroon and Gold started the day on the uneven bars and got a season-high 9.8 from junior Kari Dieffenderfer to lead the way, posting a team score of 48.600 to take the lead after rotation one.
In rotation two, freshman Tori Garcia posted a 9.8 for the first time in her career on the vault, helping the Chippewas claim the top three spots as sophomore Meaghan McWhorter posted a season-best 9.825 as did Teubner to tie for first.
"Tori added a new element to her vault this week and she really took advantage of it," Reighard said. "Her performance really got us going and was the highlight of the meet."
On the floor it was another 9.8 by Teubner that led the way, giving the senior her second first-place finish of the day and helping her post a 39.125 to claim the all-around title. The meet marks the fourth-straight in which Teubner has posted a 39 or better as she continues to make a strong case for both MAC Gymnast and Senior of the Year. Petzold also scored above a 39 for the third time this season and in the second-straight meet, finishing just 0.025 behind Teubner.
The Chippewas are off for the next 12 days before they travel west to Seattle, Wash., for a tri-meet versus Washington and San Jose State on March 9, and to Sacramento, Calif., for a quad versus Sacramento State, UC Davis and Seattle Pacific on March 11.