Gymnastics continues undefeated season, to host Ball State Sunday

With losing senior Kirsten Petzold and sophomore Miranda Wieczorek to season-ending injuries, the Central Michigan gymnastics team faced an early setback leading into the 2016 season.

The Chippewas are now 6-0 and 1-0 in the Mid-American Conference with four meets under their belt. CMU is the only MAC team remaining without a loss.

Head Coach Jerry Reighard's team took another step forward Friday, defeating the Northern Illinois Huskies in their MAC opener 195.275 to 194.675. It was a season-high for the Chippewas.

Freshman Kasey Janowicz seized the opportunity and scored a 39.125 to win the all-around for the fourth straight meet. She also won the vault with a season-high score of 9.875.

CMU tied or beat NIU in all four events and earned season-high results on vault (48.825), bars (49.075) and beam (48.925). 

"It was a really well-fought meet by our gymnasts," Head Coach Jerry Reighard told "It was a great feeling for us, a great win for us, (puts us) at 6-0 now and that's where we want to be. It was a really good score, we keep moving up every week and I really think it took NIU by surprise."

Reighard continues to say, as he has said every season, that the goal is to achieve an overall score of 196. Janowicz and other freshmen gymnasts like Skyler Memmel and Kailey Miller have stepped up to make this goal attainable.

“(Janowicz) is right where we anticipated she would be, she’s doing great,” Reighard told “We’re seeing strides in Skyler, we’re starting to see her mature. (Miller) is doing better and better every day. But we’re still grooming people, and in our sport, that’s not an overnight process.”

The Chippewas’ next opponent is another conference matchup, with Ball State (2-2) coming to McGuirk Arena at 1 p.m. Sunday. Central Michigan defeated the Cardinals 196.175 to 193.775 and won all four events with a 9.85 or better. Ball State's highest score of the 2016 season is 194.1.

After Ball State, the Chippewas travel to Eastern Michigan (4-1) to face the No. 22 Eagles in another conference matchup. EMU is the highest-ranked MAC team, averaging a 194.992 and receiving a 195.05 in back-to-back weeks.

While the Chippewas are off to a strong start early in the 2016 season, the next few weeks will be pivotal in cementing CMU as the favorites of the MAC and keeping the undefeated season alive.