Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
CMU gymnastics opens the season at home on Sunday, Jan. 5, when it hosts Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m.
Gymnastics Kicks Off Season at Home
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Central Michigan University gymnastics team opens the season at home on Sunday, Jan. 5, when it hosts Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m.

The Chippewas won their fourth consecutive Mid-American Conference title last season, the 14th conference title in program history. CMU returns 10 letterwinners from last season while only losing two.

“Our student-athletes are really looking forward to beginning our competitive season after working so hard during the preseason,” CMU head coach Jerry Reighard said. “This is such a veteran squad, they know exactly what to expect on Sunday and have done a great job preparing for the start of the season. This group has high expectations and they understand that we need to get off to a great start to the season if we want to meet our goals”

The Chippewas also opened last season with Wisconsin-Eau Claire, scoring a 194.975, which was the program’s highest team total in a season opener. CMU is 2-0 all-time versus the Blugolds.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire returns 12 letterwinners off a team that took fifth at the 2013 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championships. Head Coach Jean DeLisle has been named WIAC Coach of the Year the last two seasons after leading her squad to a third place finish in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2012 and 2013.

Central Michigan Notes:
• The Chippewas are looking to win a fifth-consecutive MAC title for the first time in program history. CMU wrapped up its fourth-straight crown last March, matching the run from 1990-1993. No program in MAC history has won five conference titles in a row with CMU the only team to win four-straight.

• CMU returns 21 of 24 routines from its regional appearance last season including reigning MAC Gymnast of the Year Brittany Petzold. The Chippewas also bring back three individual MAC champions: Taylor Noonan, Halle Moraw and Petzold. Also returning to the line-up is Megan Lamphere, who missed the second half of last season after starting on bars and beam in the first three meets.

• Central Michigan was picked to finish second in the MAC coaches’ preseason poll for the fourth time in the last five years. CMU was picked to finish third last year before going on the win its fourth-consecutive conference title last March. Kent State was picked to finish first, the eighth-straight season it has been tabbed in the preseason poll as the conference favorite. Bowling Green was selected to finish third, NIU was fourth, conference meet host EMU was fifth, WMU was sixth and Ball State was in seventh.