Courtesy: Courtesy Photo
Preslee Harrald and the CMU Gymnastics team travel to take on No. 15 Illinois and No. 23 Ohio State in Champaign, Ill. on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m.
Gymnastics Travels to Illinois on Sunday
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — No. 19 Central Michigan gymnastics team hits the road to take on No. 14 Illinois and No. 23 Ohio State in Champaign, Ill., on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m.

The Chippewas (9-1, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) look to rebound after suffering a 0.025 loss to rival Kent State last Sunday.  

Illinois gymnastics is currently ranked No. 14 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten. Under head coach Kim Landrus, Illinois hit their sixth highest score in program history at Penn State last weekend with a 196.500. Illinois senior Amber See is ranked No. 36 nationally on all-around, setting a career-high with a 39.350 against Minnesota. Junior Sunny Kato is ranked No. 2 on beam in the league and No.12 in the nation, setting a career-high with a 9.900. Erin Buchanan, a freshman for the Fighting Illini, ranks No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 29 nationally on floor exercise.

Illinois gymnastics is currently 5-3 overall and 2-3 in conference action.

No. 23 Ohio State is led by head coach Carey Fagan and is 2-5 overall, 1-3 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes return seniors Melanie Shaffer and Sarah Miller. Shaffer is ranked No. 40 in the all-around in the nation and No. 8 in the Big Ten for all-around and floor. Miller ranks No. 5 on beam and No. 7 on vault in the conference. Underclassmen Rachel Abrams and Tenille Funches are tied for No. 11 in the Big Ten on bars for the Buckeyes.

Central Michigan Notes:
  • Central Michigan gymnastics ranks No. 19 in the nation. The Chippewas have a No. 14 national ranking on both floor and beam, just behind Illinois who is nationally ranked No. 13 on floor and No. 10 on beam. The Chippewas hold the No. 24 spot on bars and No. 29 ranking on vault nationally.
  • Despite the 0.025-point loss against rival Kent State, the Chippewas were still able to post season highs on two events on Sunday. After a three-way tie for second between Emily Heinz, Taylor Noonan and Becca Druien, CMU was able to pull off a season-high on beam with a 49.300. The Chippewas finished off the meet with sophomore Taylor Bolender (9.925) leading the way to help post another season high on floor (49.350).
  • Central Michigan gymnasts are currently ranked first on every event in the Mid-American Conference in terms of average score. Senior Brittany Petzold ranks No. 1 in the all-around, on bars and on vault. Junior Halle Moraw is ranked No. 1 on floor, while fellow teammate Taylor Noonan has the top ranking on beam.
  • For the first time in her career, CMU gymnast Taylor Bolender was honored by the Mid-American Conference as she was named the Specialist of the Week. Bolender posted a personal best and took first-place on floor with a 9.925 against Kent State, matching the MAC’s highest score this season on the event. She also had another top 3 finish, taking third on bars with a 9.825.