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Gymnastics finishes second in quad-meet


Junior All-around Gianna Plaksa performs her beam routine on Feb. 18 at McGuirk Arena.

In part three of a four-meet road trip, Central Michigan gymnastics finished second in a quad-meet hosted by San Jose State University on March 4.

The Spartans finished at 195.05, their season-best. CMU followed with a 194.625. The Air Force Academy finished with 194.5, and Seattle Pacific was fourth with 193.225.

“All three teams are well-coached by guys that have been around for a long time,” head coach Jerry Reighard said. “They gave us good competition and we had to come in and do our best.”

The Chippewas now sit at 6-4 (4-1 in Mid-American Conference). The Chippewas have lost the last three meets. 

On the floor, the Chippewas scored a 48.7 with an average of 9.74. This was the start of the issues with the “9.7 fest,” Reighard said.

“No matter what you did, it was virtually 9.7,” he said about the judgement of the scores. “There was no separation, or good indication from the judges to determine a mediocre routine from a really good routine. So I’m not putting a lot into the team score of this meet.”

Following the first rotation at floor, the Chippewas earned a 48.65 on vault, right around their season average so far this season. Their per-gymnast average on the vault rotation was 9.73.

Freshman Kennedy Rae Johnson matched her season high with a 9.775. The first time she scored a 9.775 was from CMU’s MAC matchup against Kent State Feb. 18.

In the third rotation, CMU trailed SJSU three-tenths of a point, 97.65-97.35. 

CMU landed the highest score of the third rotation when they competed on bars with a 48.85. 

This propelled CMU to the top spot at 146.2 heading into the final rotation.

CMU competed on the beam to close out the event, but junior Kailey Miller scored an 8.875. Sophomore Hayley Porter scored a 9.15, matching her score from the meet against University of California-Berkeley on Friday.

“We had a fall on beam and that put everybody on their heels,” Reighard said. “It was at that point you know you can’t afford to do that. We let SJSU get ahead because of our fall. We were still in it, but our fourth beam worker fell and that’s all she wrote.”

The Spartans grabbed a 49.1 on the floor in their final rotation. They secured their first-place finish. 

“(That score) absolutely made a difference in the outcome of the meet between us and San Jose,” Reighard said. “(SJSU) had some really nice floor routines in the final round, (however) in my eyes at least, I thought in our floor routines in the first round we equaled what I saw from them, but we ended up at 9.7’s.”

Ohio State University and North Carolina State are next on the docket for CMU, with OSU ranked No. 21 and NC State at No. 22 in the NCAA.

“I think we’re in a really good position for that matchup,” Reighard said. “Although we were given some 9.7’s today, they weren’t 9.9’s like we need them to be, so we’ll go back and look at game film to see where to improve.”

The meet against OSU and NC State will be at 2 p.m. March 11 at St. Johns Arena in Columbus, Ohio.