Gymnastics ranks No. 3 in nation; Clements honored

Junior All-Around Katy Clements celebrates after her performance on the balance beam during the Chippewas meet against Bowling Green University on Feb. 26 in McGuirk Arena.

Central Michigan gymnastics is ranked No. 3 in the nation after beating Illinois State 196.375-191.600 on Jan. 6 in McGuirk Arena. 

This score was the highest to open up a season in CMU history. The NCAA ranks the Chippewas only behind Louisiana State University and Utah. UCLA, University of Michigan and Kentucky trail CMU. 

Both LSU and Utah finished with scores at and above 197.000, including LSU's 197.150-point finish. The Chippewas are the only Mid-American Conference team in the top 10 rankings. 

“We’ve never been there and usually it’s the Power Five teams that are in the top 12 ranking,” said head coach Jerry Reighard. “We now have to defend that and prove that we are that good."

Reighard explained the Chippewas are very aware of the ranking, and now the goal is to show that they deserve it. 

Senior all-around gymnast Katy Clements was recently named the MAC Gymnast of the Week after her first-place performance on the balance beam against Illinois State. She also came second in vault and floor exercises.

The Chippewas rank No. 2 in the country on floor, No. 6 on vault, No. 6 on beam and No. 8 on vault. After the competition, the gymnasts said there is still work to do. The goal is to score a 197.000 each time they compete, Reighard said. 

“Back in August, we (senior captains) talked to the team and really set a fire in everyone and today is where the results show,” Clement said, following the decisive victory against Illinois State. 

CMU is tied for No. 1 in the MAC with Bowling Green. The Chippewas start conference play at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 at Eastern Michigan.