Taylor Noonan named MVP, leading gymnastics in sophomore season


Taylor Noonan performs on the beam during their meet against Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jan. 5 at McGuirk Arena.

Sophomore Taylor Noonan was awarded team MVP on Saturday night at the gymnastics quad meet at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn.

A key injury to upperclassmen and leader junior Brittany Petzold kept her limited in Saturday’s meet, leaving more responsibility on some of the younger gymnasts.

Noonan stepped up and picked up lost ground.

The Chippewas found themselves in an unfamiliar position on beam Saturday, which proved to be the weakest link for CMU. But it was Noonan who shined bright to keep the Chippewas in the hunt by scoring a 9.850, the highest score recorded for the Chippewas this season.

“Noonan had one of her absolute best nights for us,” said gymnastics head coach Jerry Reighard.

Noonan ranked in the top-three in beam, beating out every team but Minnesota.

Noonan’s success did not end there. She scored a 9.725 on the bars and finished the night with a resounding 9.825 for her floor routine. Her floor routine scored her a career-high in only her fourth meet of the season.

Although receiving the MVP of the Chippewas last night, success this early in Noonan’s collegiate career is not new to her.

Noonan scored a near-perfect 9.925 last week on the beam against Ball State.

“I don’t expect that to be topped by any MAC gymnast,” Reighard said earlier in the season.

Noonan has already broke all of her season-highs from her freshman season while just four meets into the 2013 season.

In Noonan’s 2012 season, she set two of her season-highs in the only two events she competed in for the Mid-American Conference Championship. With this in mind, and Noonan’s scores against two of the top ranked schools in the nation, she seems to shine under pressure.

In high school, the Colorado native showed signs of success after winning the CHSAA State Championships on the beam, three times on the bars, once on the floor and once for the all-around.

Noonan chose CMU over her home state college of the University of Denver and Seattle Pacific. Not only is Noonan completing career-best routines, she is also putting up great numbers in the classroom. The biology major is maintaining a solid 3.69 GPA.

Noonan sets her sights next week when traveling to Chicago for the Michigan Illinois Challenge, attempting to once again receive career-high scores from the judges and better her already promising young career.