Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
No. 24 CMU Hosts Eastern Michigan on Senior Day
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The 24th-ranked Central Michigan gymnastics team will finish out its 2013 regular season schedule on Saturday when the Chippewas host Eastern Michigan in McGuirk Arena on Senior Day. The MAC dual meet is set for a 2 p.m. start.

Seniors Kari Dieffenderfer, Emily LaFontaine, and Meaghan McWhorter will be honored for their career contributions in a special Senior Day ceremony following the meet. Also after the competition, any fan who has collected all of the Chippewas autographs throughout the season will have the opportunity to get a picture taken with the team. Saturday’s competition is also the annual Flip for the Cure meet. The team will wear pink t-shirts, which will also be for sale in the McGuirk atrium, with proceeds going to the battle against cancer.

Last weekend, competing on just two days rest, CMU scored a 195.575 to defeat Yale (190.525) but narrowly fell to host No. 24 Maryland (196.025) in a tri-meet in College Park. Central recorded the meet’s highest score in the uneven bars and surpassed the 49.000 barrier in the floor exercise for the fourth straight meet (49.025). Junior Brittany Petzold captured the title in the uneven bars, leading a 1-2-3 CMU sweep in the event, and placed second in the all-around 39.225. Petzold, who also won two titles and the all-around earlier in the week versus Alaska Anchorage, was honored as MAC Gymnast of the Week for the third time in her career for her impressive performances.

Central Michigan moved back into the top 25 in the latest national rankings, appearing at No. 24, and upped its regional qualifying score to 195.620 based on last week’s results. The Chippewas remain at No. 7 in the regional rankings. Individually, Taylor Noonan is positioned at No. 21 nationally in the balance beam. Brittany Petzold, who owns the MAC’s highest all-around score this season, a 39.400, ranks seventh in the Central Region in the all-around.

Eastern Michigan is coming off a runner-up finish as hosts of the Eagle Invitational in its final home meet of the year, scoring a 194.575. Sophomore Anna Willette won the vault (9.850) while Khadijah Hudson and Paulina Miller tied for first on the floor exercise (9.875). The Eagles, which possess a 194.055 regional qualifying score, boast a season high score of 194.675. EMU has recorded wins over Illinois-Chicago, Ball State, Alaska Anchorage, and Air Force this season in 2013.

CMU possesses a 56-35 record its in all-time series with in-state rival Eastern Michigan.

Central Michigan will return to action next weekend when it travels to Kalamazoo, Mich. to seek its fourth consecutive conference title and 14th overall at the 2013 MAC Championships. The annual conference competition will take place on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. at University Arena in Read Fieldhouse on the host campus of Western Michigan University.