Gymnastics touts skills in preseason showcase

Senior Abbie Zoeller begins her floor routine, marking her 2019 season debut on Dec. 7 in McGuirk Arena.

The Central Michigan gymnastics team is poised to begin a new season after winning the Mid-American Conference Championships in 2018. 

The team gave fans a peak of what it’s capable of as it performed events during a showcase at McGuirk arena Friday night. 

“You never know what you’re going to see because they’ve never been in the limelight,” thirty-sixth year Coach Jerry Reighard said. “What I found out tonight is I think they like the limelight.” 

The Chippewa’s performed vault, balance beam, double bar, and floor as Reighard used a microphone to explain to fans what each event entailed and how it was scored. 

“I’m really satisfied with vaulting,” Reighard said. “That’s been a tough event for us. No falls, and even in the first couple meets last year they couldn't find the ground.” 

CMU is led by Katy Clements and Denelle Pedrick who were both selected to the All-MAC second team last year. While their names will be familiar to fans, there are plenty of new faces. 

One of those newcomers is Freshmen Morgan Tong. She impressed with her performance on floor, an event where the gymnasts performs to music and uses a springed mat to assist with tumbling. 

“Floor I’m really excited about.” Reighard said. “Powerful tumbling, really powerful tumbling and probably the best choreography I've seen here in a few years”   

Reighard also said that he was impressed with his team’s releases on the double bars and that he expects improvement in the upcoming months on the balance beam. 

“Combine those four events and we’ve got more depth than I’ve had certainly in the last three years,” Reighard said.  

The Chippewa’s will open their season by hosting Illinois, Arizona, and Bridgeport on Jan. 6.