Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Sophomore Becca Druien celebrates with her teammates. The Chippewas will face Alaska Anchorage on Thursday night in McGuirk Arena (7 p.m.).
CMU Hosts Alaska Anchorage for Thursday Dual Meet
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Central Michigan gymnastics team will take a break from conference action and depart from its regular competition schedule when it hosts Alaska Anchorage in a rare Thursday dual meet. The Chippewas and the Seawolves will square off beginning at 7 p.m. in McGuirk Arena.

CMU will look to build on the momentum it has gained from back-to-back MAC victories, including last weekend’s historic win over Bowling Green. The Chippewas cracked the 196.000 threshold versus the Falcons, posting a 196.125. Central scored above 49.000 in three events for the second consecutive week and established new season highs in the uneven bars (49.175) and the floor exercise (49.150).

Junior Brittany Petzold fueled the victory, capturing the all-around with the highest score in the MAC this season, a 39.400. She tied for first in the vault, uneven bars, and the floor exercise. Other event winners for CMU were junior Emily Heinz (vault, balance beam), sophomore Kylie Fagan (uneven bars), and sophomore Taylor Noonan (balance beam).

After its strong showing in the win over Bowling Green, Central Michigan nearly forced its way back into the top 25 national rankings, finishing just shy at No. 26 with a 195.335 regional qualifying score. The Chippewas remain at No. 7 in the regional rankings. As a result of her title-winning score of 9.875 last weekend, Fagan moved up to No. 21 nationally in the uneven bars rankings while Noonan used her 9.900 in the balance beam versus BGSU to rise to a No. 23 national ranking.

Alaska Anchorage, which is a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, enters the mid-week dual with CMU fresh, after having not competed since February 17, a dual meet home loss to MAC foe Eastern Michigan. The Seawolves are accustomed to long-distance traveling, making road trips to Connecticut and New Jersey, Louisiana, and Michigan this season. Led by junior Emily Petersen and freshmen Marie-Sophie Boggasch and M’rcy Matsunami, UAA has claimed victories over Yale, Seattle Pacific, Winona State, and Centenary in 2013.

CMU owns a 3-0 record all-time in its series with Alaska Anchorage but Thursday will mark the first time in program history that the Chippewas have faced the Seawolves in dual meet competition.

After only a three-day respite, CMU will be back in action on Sunday when it travels to face host No. 24 Maryland and Yale in a tri-meet in College Park. The competition at the Terrapins’ Comcast Center is set to begin at 5 p.m.