Seniors co-captains Brittany Petzold and Emily Heinz wore ear-to-ear smiles Saturday, as they celebrated a perfect postseason career at CMU.
Both gymnasts have won a Mid-American Conference championship in each of their four years in maroon and gold.
They breezed past competition this year, including rival and regular-season champions, Kent State.
“It felt great to beat Kent, one of the best feelings I’ve ever had, especially to beat them all four years,” Heinz said.
The duo is the second senior class to accomplish the feat in school history. Petzold and Heinz will lead the Chippewas into the NCAA regional championship next weekend, where they finished last during the 2013 regional competition.
Heinz scored a nearly-perfect beam routine in her final season with a 9.925. She celebrated the MAC finale with another accolade, adding to an already large collection. She finished fourth overall in the MAC championship on bars behind two teammates. In her career she was named MAC Specialist of the Week and Academic All-MAC.
Petzold had a celebrated career as a Chippewa as well. In 2013, she was MAC Co-Gymnast of the Year, first team All-MAC, Academic All-MAC, All-Around MAC Champion and MAC Gymnast of the Week several times.
Petzold had surgery on her shoulder and bounced back to being at the top of her craft and the conference. This season she received her top score in bars with a 9.9 and her top score on vault with a 9.875. She was able to spend her junior and senior year with her sister Kirsten “Kiki” as her teammate.
The women were honored at the conclusion of the meet along with the rest of the MAC seniors.
“We work so hard in the gym and all the hard work has finally paid off this year and it’s just a really amazing feeling,” Petzold said.
She competed in the all-around Saturday, scoring a 39.975, earning runner-up to Kent State’s Marie Case. Petzold’s 9.85 on bars ended the Chippewas recent struggles in that event.
Heinz excelled on the balance beam with a 9.825, third best for CMU and fourth best of all competing gymnasts.
“I’d say this is our greatest chance we have ever had to go to the national championship,” Heinz explained. “This is the first time we’re going to finish the season in the Top 18 and now will be the first time we have been seeded going into regionals and that is a huge deal.”
CMU will wait until 3 p.m. Monday to find out where it will head for regional action.