CMU Gymnastics Showcase
Head Coach Jerry Reighard leads the Central Michigan gymnastics team for the 33rd consecutive year as the Chippewas kick-started their season today with an individual and team showcase Sunday at McGuirk Arena.
Formally known as Excite Night, Reighard said he wanted the ladies to emphasize their skills and show off their personalities to the crowd.
“Our gymnast have to become more comfortable with showing off to the crowd and judges, and the name showcase gets at what we want to accomplish,” Reighard said.
The event started off with the ladies performing vaults. After vaults the gymnast split into gold and maroon teams where they performed either at the bar or beam. The final event was a floor exercise.
Junior Abby Rose Zoeller was emotional after her performance on the beam as she received hugs from all her teammates. Zoeller was unable to compete last season as she was battling injuries.
Senior Courtney Campbell said the whole team was proud of the way Zoeller has worked to get back on the beam and hit her routine with confidence.
Campbell, one of five seniors on the team, said the seniors this year want to lead by example rather than words.
“We want to keep working, put everything we have into our routines and work from our hearts and that’s something the five of us (seniors) can really speak from,” Campbell said.
One gymnast who stood out with her routines was freshman Kennedy Rae Johnson. Reighard said he saw a different level of gymnastics play from Johnson today.
“I really think she (Johnson) is going to contend for the Mid-American Conference freshman of year award.” “She has the skills and we’ll push her to the limit,” Reighard said.
Reighard wasn’t shy to talk about the talent on the team. He said the main thing the ladies need to focus on is impressing the crowd.
“If you can impress the audience you will automatically impress the judges.”
CMU has about a month left to practice before their first meet of the season at 2 p.m. on Jan. 6 versus Illinois State at McGuirk Arena.