MOUNT PLEASANT – Spurred by a strong performance on the uneven bars, the Central Michigan gymnastics team claimed its second consecutive impressive win to start the 2013 season, defeating visiting New Hampshire, 195.050-193.100, on Friday evening at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas surpassed the coveted 49.000 barrier in the uneven bars, totaling a 49.075 in the second rotation. CMU took the top five spots in the event led by sophomore Kylie Fagan, who recorded a title-winning score of 9.850. Fagan was followed in the standings by sophomore Becca Druien (9.825) and freshmen Taylor Bolender and Megan Lamphere and senior Emily LaFontaine, who tied for third with identical scores of 9.800.
“It just lends so much confidence when you get a score, especially an event score, such as that, that it picks you up and just ushers you into the next event,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard about his team’s uneven bars effort. “I think that was very evident as we went to balance beam. They felt confident and it showed, all the way through.”
As a team, Central Michigan won three events outright (vault, uneven bars, and balance beam) and tied UNH in the floor exercise with like scores of 48.625. Individually, in addition to Fagan, freshman Kirsten Petzold and senior Meaghan McWhorter combined to give CMU its other title win, with each scoring a 9.800 in the vault.
Sophomore Becca Druien took the all-around for the second consecutive week, coming out ahead in a head-to-head match-up with the Wildcats’ top all-arounder, Austyn Fobes, by tying her career high (38.775). Her best showing was the second-place finish in the uneven bars.
Junior Emily Heinz and sophomore Taylor Noonan headlined CMU’s balance beam line-up, as the duo tied for second, with each earning a 9.800. Sophomore Halle Moraw, the reigning MAC Specialist of the Week, was a close fourth, scoring a 9.775.
Moraw was also key in the floor exercise, finishing in second place, tying with teammate junior Brittany Petzold with a score of 9.800.
CMU will travel for the first time this season next week, visiting Ball State for its 2013 MAC opener. The Chippewas and the Cardinals will clash on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Irving Gymnasium in Muncie, Ind. A year ago, Central Michigan downed Ball State, 193.350-190.100, in Mount Pleasant, winning all four events both individually and as a team.