Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Junior Brittany Petzold performs in a meet at home earlier this season. Petzold won the uneven bars and placed second in the all-around in a road tri-meet versus host Maryland and Yale.
CMU Defeats Yale, Edged in Final Rotation by No. 24 Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Central Michigan gymnastics team pushed No. 24 Maryland to its limit on its home floor but the Chippewas’ were edged by the Terrapins in a meet that came down to the final rotation. CMU scored a 195.575 in the evenly matched competition while Maryland posted a 196.025. Yale also participated, placing third with a 190.525 total.

The Chippewas were within striking distance heading into the final rotation, trailing Maryland 146.775-146.700. But, CMU couldn’t close the gap on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.875, while the Terrapins recorded a 49.250 in the floor exercise.

“That was an average CMU team that showed up today,” said CMU head coach Jerry Reighard. “We were really good in some places but we couldn’t close the deal. We just didn’t have enough strong performances to do what we wanted to do.”

CMU recorded the meet’s highest score in the uneven bars while taking the top three places in the standings. Junior Brittany Petzold won the title, scoring a 9.850, while sophomore Kylie Fagan placed second (9.800) and sophomore Becca Druien finished third (9.775). 

Petzold was again terrific in the all-around, placing second with a score of 39.225. Besides her title win in the uneven bars, she performed well in the vault, tying for fourth (9.825).

CMU started on the balance beam, scoring a 48.725, but fell behind early, as Maryland vaulted to a 49.175 in the opening rotation. Sophomore Halle Moraw, competing in the four spot in the line-up, came through with the performance of the day in the event, scoring a 9.850.

Rotating to the floor exercise, Central continued to excel in the event of late, scoring above a 49.000 for the third straight meet (49.025). With that score, CMU was able to overtake Maryland and temporarily claim the lead, 97.750-97.725. Five of the six Chippewas score a 9.800 or above, led by Moraw’s 9.825.

In rotation three, CMU moved to the vault, scoring a solid 48.950. Freshman Kirsten Petzold was the Chippewas’ top scorer, earning a 9.850 to finish in third place. In addition to Brittany Petzold’s key score, junior Emily Heinz contributed a 9.800.

CMU will return home to Mount Pleasant next weekend, hosting MAC rival Eastern Michigan on Senior Day. The Chippewas will clash with the Eagles in their regular season finale on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. in McGuirk Arena. Seniors Kari Dieffenderfer, Emily LaFontaine, and Meaghan McWhorter will be honored for their career contributions in a special ceremony following the meet.