Gymnastics will honor its seniors during its 2 p.m. meet Saturday with rival Eastern Michigan before heading to Kalamazoo next week for the Mid-American Conference championship.
CMU has scored higher than 195 in its last four meets. The team has met with the Eagles once this season, teaming up for the Michigan-Illinois Challenge. CMU scored a 195.875, while EMU scored a 192.850.
The Eagles struggled in the MAC this year with an 0-5 record. Despite the bad divisional record, they have fought back and will enter McGuirk Arena on a two-meet win streak.
“We’re not overlooking Eastern Michigan; they’ve had sort of a rollercoaster season,” said head coach Jerry Reighard. “We know we have to be on our game; we are looking to build on our national ranking (which is No. 24 in the nation).”
Last week, the Chippewas had three meets in an eight-day span, winning the first two home dual meets and falling to second place in the tri-meet at College Park behind Maryland and beating Yale.
A key gymnast to watch is junior Brittany Petzold, who was named MAC Gymnast of the Week for her performance in the all-around last home meet against Alaska-Anchorage. Another gymnast to watch for is sophomore Taylor Noonan, who has completed three 9.9’s or higher on the beam this season.
“I’ve been working hard year round, focusing on the little things boosting up my confidence after my surgery,” Petzold said. “It just feels really good to get recognized for all my hard work.”
EMU looks toward sophomore Carrina Josephine Lo Bello to lead it after her two first-place performances in the win last week against Alaska-Anchorage.
Both teams are looking to get momentum from this meet to carry with them for the MAC Championships on March 23 in Kalamazoo.
The Eagles have been consistent in scoring but have yet to break the 195 mark.
Last year, the two squared off in a tri-meet rather than the dual meet they will have this weekend. The Chippewas walked away with first place and the Eagles trailing close behind. It’s no secret that this meet will be fought until the end by both teams.
CMU has had an overall team effort that has lifted it to victory in the last half of the season. The upperclassmen and underclassmen have both put up outstanding numbers to combine to score as high as 196.125, a feat that has not been completed since March of 2010.
“We’re looking to have the best meet that we’ve had,” Petzold said. “We have been striving for 196, and we have a school record we are trying to beat.”
As of now, they sit in third place in the MAC with a MAC-unbeaten Ball State leading the pack. EMU will try to pull itself out of last place in its last meet of the season.
Since it is the last home meet, CMU will have its annual Senior Day honoring the senior’s careers.
“Great night to honor them (seniors) and their accomplishments” Reighard said.
The meet is also the annual Flip for the Cure meet where the gymnasts will wear pink shirts for breast cancer, the team will also be selling the t-shirts in McGuirk Arena.