Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Gymnastics Scores 194.975 in Season-Opening Win
MOUNT PLEASANT – The Central Michigan gymnastics team shined in its 2013 season opener on Saturday afternoon in McGuirk Arena, scoring a 194.975 to down visiting Wisconsin-Eau Claire (180.150). The Chippewas’ score was the highest ever recorded by a Jerry Reighard-led squad to begin a season.

“At the beginning of the year, we all got together as a team and made some pretty lofty goals,” said Reighard, who is in his 29th season as the head coach of the Chippewas. “And the statement I made was, ‘that’s not going to be easy.’ And they are finding out that it is not easy to be at this level; that’s it’s not easy to do what we just did. Even though, hopefully, we did make it look easy. They have worked very hard and we are very excited about our prospects.”

As a team, CMU won all four events and took the top six spots in the vault, uneven bars, and balance beam. Individually, sophomore Halle Moraw captured titles in the balance beam (9.850) and floor exercise (9.850) to lead Central Michigan. Freshman Kirsten Petzold began her collegiate career on a high note, winning her first title in the first event in which she competed, the vault, scoring a 9.825. Senior Emily LaFontaine claimed the uneven bars crown, posting a winning score of 9.825.

Sophomore Becca Druien won the all-around unopposed (38.725), finishing second in the floor exercise (9.800), fourth in the uneven bars (9.750) and balance beam (9.650), and sixth in the vault (9.525).

The CMU freshmen class played a major role in the victory over the Blugolds. In addition to Kirsten Petzold’s title-winning performance, Megan Lamphere had a strong showing. A late addition to the balance beam line-up, she came through by tying teammate Kylie Fagan for second place. She also shared second place with Fagan in the uneven bars.

Megan Lamphere gets player of the day; there is no question in my mind,” said Reighard. “An interesting story about Megan. When you tell a freshman who has never a 9.500 or a 9.600 that she has to score a 9.800, they don’t know what to do with that. I grabbed her today and said ‘do you believe?’ and she got a big smile on her face because she got her 9.800 today.”

Central Michigan is back in action next week, as it welcomes New Hampshire to McGuirk Arena for a 7 p.m. dual meet on Friday, Jan. 11.