The Central Michigan gymnastics team qualified for Regionals Saturday by winning the MAC tournament at Northern Illinois.
Head coach Jerry Reighard said they find out who the Chippewas play and where for regionals Sunday at midnight.
The Chippewas claimed first place Saturday with a score of 195.675. Kent State finished second with a score of 195.225, while Western Michigan finished third.
The star of the tournament was CMU sophomore Brittany Petzold. Petzold won first place as an all-arounder, with a score of 39.150. Senior Kristin Teubner finished fourth as an all-arounder and freshman Halle Moraw finished eighth.
Reighard was delighted with Petzold’s performance at the tournament.
“We are extremely proud of Brittany Petzold,” Reighard said. “I can tell you no other sophomore works as hard as she does at practice. Her title was well-deserved.”
Petzold embraced the feeling afterwards.
“It felt really good to be first place all-around,” Petzold said. “It’s good to know all the hard work I put in paid off. The team really came together too, and we had each other’s backs. We had a whole bunch of injuries at the beginning of the season, but we just pushed through it to win a championship.”
The title was never in doubt.
“They were extremely excited, as we led from start to finish,” Reighard said. “It was a tight race at every rotation, but we kept picking up tenths. The story was balance beam, where we had the highest team score.”
Before the meet, Reighard preached to his team to go all out, instead of being guarded. The team did just that.
“We went absolutely all-out today and didn’t hold anything back,” Reighard said. “Nothing lacked today. The effort was what I wanted, and more importantly the attitude was we are going to win this. They went out and did that.”
Sophomore Meaghan McWhorter took the title on vault with a 9.9. Reighard and McWhorter knew she had the ability to do it.
“She comes into practice everyday saying she is going to score a 9.9,” Reighard said. “That hadn’t happened up until today, and what a day to do it.”
McWhorter said she had been waiting to do this all year.
“I’ve done it countless times in practice,” McWhorter said. “I’ve just been waiting to pull it off at a meet, and I did it at the MAC Championship.”
The titles kept coming as freshman Taylor Noonan took first place on balance beam.
“She had a beautiful beam routine,” Reighard said. “We predicted that if she put it together at the MAC Championships she would win.”
Teubner took home a couple titles herself, as she repeated as the floor event champion, scoring a 9.925, the highest score at the competition, and won senior MAC Gymnast of the Year.
Teubner could hardly put her feelings into words.
“I’m just so happy about today,” Teubner said. “I don’t even have words for it. I felt really bad about bars after messing up, but my teammates and coaches helped me. I just went out there and did the best I could. It happened to be the best of the day. To be able to perform well all year round, and win the senior MAC Gymnast of the Year has been a goal of mine from the start.”
The last title of the day was given to Reighard for MAC Coach of the Year.