MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan led from start to finish and scored a season-best 194.475 Saturday to defeat rival Kent State and keep its grasp on the Mid-American Conference lead.
The win was the Chippewas' (9-3, 4-0 MAC) fourth straight over the Golden Flashes (2-2, 2-2 MAC) and their 26th straight over a MAC foe dating back to February 13, 2010.
"This is probably going to make our season," head coach Jerry Reighard said. "This meet was extremely important as everyone knows. This 25-year-old rivalry is continuing year after year and each team pushes the other to the max. This usually marks the turning point for each team's season and I'm expecting we will continue to improve. The belief we instilled in this team with the meet we had is going to carry us a long way."
The Chippewas grabbed the lead in rotation one with their 48.725 performance on the vault in which three gymnasts scored 9.8 or better. Senior Kristin Teubner led the way with a 9.825, good for second behind KSU's Whitnee Johnson, while sophomores Brittany Petzold and Meaghan McWhorter each scored a 9.8.
In rotation two it was a new face on the uneven bars that helped the Chippewas keep their lead as they scored a 48.750. Freshman Halle Moraw competed in the event for the first time this season, scoring a 9.8 to finish second behind Teubner's 9.825.
CMU continued its flawless performance in rotation three on the balance beam, going six-for-six one week after counting two falls at the Illinois/Michigan Challenge. Freshman Taylor Noonan and Teubner finished tied for second, each scoring a 9.725.
The Maroon and Gold ran away with the meet in the final rotation and Teubner put a stamp on her last dual versus KSU, scoring a 9.850 in the floor exercise to claim her second first-place finish. The performance also capped the second-straight meet in which she has scored a 39 or better in the all-around, finishing with a 39.225.
Though Teubner claimed the all-around, Petzold finished second with a 39.000, marking the first time this season that the Chippewas had two individuals each score 39 or better. Moraw finished with a 38.675 competing in all four events for the first time this season.
A break in MAC action is in order for the Chippewas in their next meet as they host George Washington next Sunday at 1 p.m. The MAC leaders will look to keep their league record unblemished on Sunday, February 26 at 2 p.m at Northern Illinois.