Slow start leads to strong finish for gymnastics


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Junior all-around Katy Clements performs a routine on the balance beam on Mar. 5 at McGuirk Arena.

Kasey Janowicz competed all around for the first time this season as the Central Michigan gymnastics team defeated Rutgers 196.375 to 194.974.

CMU's 196.375 is the best team score of the season for the Chippewas.

“It’s different going from one or two events to competing in all four again,” Janowicz said. “It is an indescribable feeling to meet your goal and be able to compete all around again.”

The Chippewas opened with a shaky start on the vault as Gianna Plaksa posted a 9.375. Senior Rachel Carr picked it up for CMU with a season high of 9.825. Janowicz finished second on vault with a 9.800.

“I was not worried about the slow start on vault,” said head coach Jerry Reinhard. “I knew what we had in our back pocket and was not worried.”

Junior captain Katy Clements knew the vault was not strong this week, but the team would pick it up.

“We are a 49 vault team,” Clements said. “The score didn’t show that today, but I think we all knew that bars, beam and floor would pick it up.”

The Chippewas came out strong in their second event, the uneven bars. Junior Courtney Campbell got things started with a career high 9.750. Both senior Caroline Fitzpatrick (9.875) and Janowicz (9.900) posted their career highs as well.

“I don’t think of a score when I go into my routines," Janowicz said. "I just think and want to nail the entire thing like I do in practice.” 

CMU would continued its strong day on beam. The team posted a season high 49.175 following let downs the past few weeks. Clements and Fitzpatrick carried the Chippewas, each scoring a 9.900. 

“I think the message was a long and cruel week,” Reinhard said. “The girls will probably agree that I was relentless this week and it turned out for the better.”

CMU led Rutgers 147.075 to 146.425 heading into the final rotation.

The Chippewas continued their strong season on the floor routine, posting a 49.300. Junior Macey Hillier scored a career high of 9.950. Janowicz posted a season high on floor with a 9.875.

The win moves the Chippewas to 8-3 on the year and the team season high will help CMU when qualifying for nationals.

The Chippewas will finish their season at home in McGuirk Arena at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 11th against Northern Illinois.

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