Chippewas Set for MAC Road Dual Versus Rival Western Michigan
Courtesy: John Regenfuss/CMU Athletics
Last week, Central Michigan rallied to pull within .025 of Kent State after three rotations but couldn’t complete the comeback and fell to the Golden Flashes, 196.050-194.900, at Kent. Sophomore Kylie Fagan tied for first place in the uneven bars, posting a career high score of 9.900, to claim her fourth title of the year in the event. Junior Emily Heinz also recorded a personal best in her title win, topping the field in the balance beam with a score of 9.875. Senior Meaghan McWhorter (2nd in vault) and sophomores Becca Druien (2nd, balance beam) and Taylor Noonan (3rd, balance beam) also earned top three finishes.
Heading into its eighth week of competition, CMU is ranked No. 7 in the Central Region, possessing a team average more than one full point higher than Western Michigan’s (194.918-193.855), which is positioned at No. 8. Nationally, as a team, the Chippewas are ranked highest in the balance beam, slotted at No. 22 with a 48.956 average. Individually, Fagan owns the nation’s No. 29 ranking in the uneven bars, boasting a 9.839 average.
Western Michigan is coming off its second MAC win of the season, as it downed Ball State, 194.200-193.275, in Muncie last Friday. The Broncos also have gained victories in 2013 over Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, George Washington, and William & Mary with its losses coming to No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 25 West Virginia, and No. 21 Kent State. WMU is led by senior Caroline O’Brien, who is ranked No. 15 in the nation in the uneven bars.
CMU has more wins, 66, against Western Michigan than any other opponent in program history, including two last season and five straight in regular season dual meets. The Chippewas’ all-time record versus the Broncos is 66-20-1. Central, the reigning three-time conference title-winners, will return to Kalamazoo in late March, as WMU is serving as hosts of the 2013 MAC Championships.
The road-tested Chippewas will return home next weekend to the familiar confines of McGuirk Arena, hosting Bowling Green in a dual meet scheduled for Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m. Highlighting the day off the competition floor, the 1993 and 2003 gymnastics squads will return to celebrate their 10- and 20-year reunions. Also, all gymnastics campers will be welcomed back to the CMU campus for the MAC clash. Following the meet, sophomore Preslee Harrald and freshmen Megan Lamphere and Taylor Bolender will be available for autographs in the concourse.