Gymnastics loses Hilliker to injury in WMU win


Senior All-around Katy Clements performs her beam routine on Jan. 20 in McGuirk Arena.

Senior Macey Hilliker injured her right foot during her floor performance as Central Michigan (3-0, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) defeated Western Michigan (1-1, 0-1 MAC) 195.600 to 195.425 in McGuirk Arena on Jan. 20.

Hilliker was the last gymnast to perform for CMU. She fell and grabbed her foot after her initial tumbling routine where should we need medical attention immediately in what appeared to be an achilles injury. 

Senior captain Bryttany Kaplan said the team has been talking about having each other’s back. 

“The first thing we said after Macey’s injury when we huddled as a team was “we have Macey’s back” and that’s what we’re going to do the rest of this year,” Kaplan said.

Hilliker is ranked as the second-best floor performer in the MAC. Head coach Jerry Reighard said the team doesn’t expect to replace Hilliker, but he's confident somebody will step up to challenge her spot.

“If we had a team full of Macey’s we would be using them, and she’ll be sorely missed,” Reighard said. “If there is a comeback we will welcome that, but we’ll wait to see what the doctors say.”

Inside the meet

In the first rotation CMU ran the vault, posting a respectable 48.825 score but lost the event to the Broncos as they scored a 48.950. Sophomore Denelle Pedrick wowed the crowd with a 9.900 performance, the best of any team on the vault.

The Chippewas dominated on the bars, scoring a 49.150 and beating WMU’s 48.825 score. Freshman Kennedy Johnson fell while performing on the vault, but she got right back up and had her best performance of the year on the bars with a 9.900 score.

“She’s (Kennedy) a freshman in the learning phase, and I certainly learned a lot about her today,” Reighard said.

Senior Katy Clements posted the best score of the day with a 9.925 on the beam to lead CMU in the third rotation. Because of errors by Hilliker and Pedrick, Clements meet-high score wasn’t enough as WMU won the event 49.125 to 48.525.

Leading 146.500 to 146.300 heading into the final rotation, CMU maintained the lead thanks to strong performances on the floor by Clements, Junior Gianna Plaska and Pedrick. The Chippewas prevailed over the Broncos on the floor 49.100 to 48.525.

Up Next

CMU travels to Northern Illinois to take on the Huskies at 2 p.m. on Jan. 28.