Freshman Kirsten Petzold accomplished a feat on Saturday in Chicago that not many young gymnasts can say they have.
Petzold scored a 9.9 in vault at the Michigan-Illinois Challenge. While Petzold only competed in one event, she helped the Chippewas reach a 49.275 in the vault to aid CMU in an eventual win over Illinois State, Eastern Michigan and the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Petzold has put up solid vault numbers all year, receiving scores ranging from 9.775 to 9.825 before her eventual 9.9.
She has also competed on the beam and in floor routine. Her best score on the beam this year is a 9.7 while her only score on the floor was a 9.525
“The sky is the limit for this young freshman,” said head gymnastics coach Jerry Reighard.
Success in vault is nothing new to Petzold. In her senior year of high school, she was the 2012 National Invitational Tournament Vault champion.
“I told her from day one that she could be the MAC vault champion,” Reighard said. “I think she’s starting to believe that.”
The Shelby Township native attended Eisenhower high school and is continuing the Chippewas scholar athlete tradition with a 3.62 GPA at CMU.
While in high school she competed for the Olympia Gymnastics Academy where she was a two-time level 10 qualifier and level 9 qualifier.
She placed second nationally in the floor routine in 2011.
“I really liked the atmosphere and the campus,” Petzold previously said of her decision to come to CMU. “I also liked how hard working and determined the team is.”
Another reason Petzold chose to come to Mount Pleasant is her older sister. Kirsten is the younger sister of CMU junior Brittany Petzold.
She said earlier in the year that having her sister being on the team helped her feel more at home and more familiar with the team and staff.
Petzold and the rest of the CMU gymnastics team will next be in action on Friday against Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. at McGuirk Arena for the Rumble and Tumble, a dual event with the wrestling team.