CMU gymnastics team posts season-high score for second-place finish

(Sean Proctor/Staff Photographer)

The CMU gymnastics team finished second out of three teams Saturday in Denver despite earning its highest score of the season.

The Chippewas scored a 48.55 or higher as a team in three of four events. Despite a season-high final score of 194.025, one event continued to plague the team at the Hamilton Gymnasium in Denver, Colo., leading to a second-place finish behind Denver (194.2). BYU came in third, totaling 192.5.

Before Saturday, CMU’s highest score was 192.275 last week, when it hosted Utah State.

“We hit 194, and that’s what we came out here to do,” said coach Jerry Reighard. “We still need to improve our shaky events, but we felt really good about this competition.”

With success on the uneven bars, vault and floor exercise, CMU’s struggles came on the balance beam.

CMU finished the event with a 47.75, behind Denver (48.325) and BYU (47.9). Sophomore Kristin Teubner (9.775) was the only CMU gymnast to score higher than a 9.7.

Despite three falls, CMU improved statistically on the event from its last meet against Utah State (47.3).

“The beam has been our nemesis this year, and we had a couple falls that hurt us,” Reighard said.

Highlighting the scoring in the first event for the Chippewas was senior Katie Simon, who scored a 9.85 on the uneven bars.

“We had a tough go, we had some great scores; (Katie Simon) had a really nice bar routine,” Reighard said.

Freshman Britney Taylor scored a 9.775 on the uneven bars, while junior Andrea de la Garza earned a 9.750.

Reighard said starting the competition on the bars was a difficult event to begin the night, but he was impressed with the team’s efforts.

“Tough event to start on, but we persevered,” he said. “We came out behind Denver, but we were well ahead of BYU.”

CMU continued its scoring pace through the next two events ­— vault and floor exercise.

The Chippewas grabbed the high score of the tri-meet on the vault, notching a score of 49.2. Denver scored a 49.0 and BYU a 48.1. Leading the charge was Simon, Teubner and Taylor (9.875 each).

CMU scored a 48.525 on the floor exercise, placing second in the event, but it was a drop from last week’s score by less than a point (48.6). Teubner had the team’s high score with a 9.8.

All-around improvement

de la Garza scored a team-high 38.925 all-around score, which placed second in the meet to Denver’s Brianna Artemev (39.25).

Simon improved in the all-around category by .925 from her score against Utah State to finish with a 38.775 overall. Reighard said he was pleased by the all-around improvements.

“Overall, the athletes were much more poised,” he said. “We had better competitive heads. We have to continue the hard work.”

Taylor finished with a 38.675 and sophomore Cheryl Conlin scored a 38.025.

CMU competes next on Jan. 30 against Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti.