Central Michigan gymnastics falls to Kent State

The Central Michigan gymnastics team suffered a tough loss to Kent State on Friday.

The two Mid-American Conference powerhouses went head-to-head at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio.

The Chippewas finished with a score of 194.9 to the Golden Flashes’ 196.050.

CMU trailed KSU the entire night but came close to closing the gap in the third rotation, shrinking the deficit to just .025.

But, the Chippewas comeback was short-lived, as the team was forced to count two falls in the final rotation.

"We absolutely beat ourselves," head coach Jerry Reighard said. "Not that Kent State isn’t a good team, but we didn’t control our own destiny.  I keep using the cliché that we left a lot on the table, but it's true."

CMU started off the night on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.925, but KSU led the first rotation with a 49.125 in vault.

Sophomore Kylie Fagan tied for first place in the uneven bars with a career-high score of 9.900.  Junior Brittany Petzold placed fourth in the event with a season-high score of 9.85.

The Chippewas moved to the vault and scored a 48.825 in the second rotation, but the Golden Flashes bested that by recording a 49.050 in the uneven bars.

Senior Meaghan McWhorter led CMU in the vault and tied for second place in the event, scoring a 9.850.

As KSU struggled on the balance beam, CMU’s score from its floor exercise set narrowed the deficit.

Senior Emily LaFontaine and sophomore Halle Moraw each scored a 9.850 to lead the Chippewas in the event.

CMU took the top three-spots in its final event with junior Emily Heinz posting a 9.875 on the balance beam and sophomores Becca Druien (9.85) and  Taylor Noonan (9.825) following.

But, those performances weren’t enough to secure the win, with the Chippewas forced to count two falls on the beam.

While Reighard said he knows some would say the falls are what sealed the team's fate, he disagrees.

"My thought as coach is we shouldn’t have been in that situation," Reighard said. "We had the ability to help ourselves in the other three events."

Reighard said not being able to stick landings and other mistakes throughout the meet cost CMU some key tenths.

Next weekend, the Chippewas will travel to Kalamazoo to face Western Michigan at 1 p.m. Sunday at University Arena.


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