Strong bars and beam performances lift gymnastics over BYU

Jerry Reighard hugs hugs Kirstin Stambaugh after her work on the beam during the meet agaisnt BYU at McGuirk Arena, Friday, January 15, 2016.

Central Michigan Gymnastics Head Coach Jerry Reighard had one quote to sum up Friday evening's clash with Brigham Young.

"In a joking fashion, if I could chew my gum any harder, I would," he said. 

In front of a spirited crowd of 1,182 at McGuirk Arena, the Chippewas eased the tension, defeating BYU 194.775 to 193.575.

It is the first time the Chippewas have topped the 194-point threshold this season. 

"One of our main goals has always been a 196, so we're still a little short of that major goal, but its definitely a huge step forward for us," said senior Megan Lamphere. 

CMU tied their season-best scores in the vault with 48.375 and the balance beam with 48.750. Lamphere recorded a career-high 9.875 in the vault along with Sophomore Katy Clements' season best of 9.825 on the balance beam.  

Success in uneven bars continued with a season-high 48.925. CMU finished with a 48.725 on floor — the team's final event. Senior Taylor Bolender stole the show in the floor with a score of 9.9, just .25 away from her career best.

Freshman Kasey Janowicz was crowned all-around title for the third straight meet with a season best score of 39.

"That was Kasey's goal coming in this year, to hit a 39," Reighard said. "I think that is going to really give her the confidence she needs at this point. We haven't had a 39 all-arounder in a couple years, and that's very impressive.

After the meet concluded, the 2015 MAC regular season champion CMU gymnastics team was presented their championship rings. Among the current athletes were the graduated seniors who also took part in the ceremony.

"Its always great to see those girls," Reighard said. "Over the time they're here, you develop a really special bond with them and you miss them. You come into practice and you're expecting to work with them and now they're not here. So to have them come back to campus, it is fun and was special."

Northern Illinois will be the next team to challenge the Chippewas. CMU will travel to DeKalb for the 8 p.m. meet next Friday.