Pedrick scores 9.900 on beam, gymnastics defeats EMU


The women's gymnastics team celebrates with junior Denelle Pedrick after vaulting Feb. 15 at McGuirk Arena. The team faced Eastern Michigan.

An eruption came from the crowd in McGuirk Arena as Denelle Pedrick landed a strong routine on the balance beam. 

That eruption only grew as a score of 9.900 was raised from the judge's table. Pedrick's performance helped give Central Michigan gymnastics a 195.050-193.475 win over Eastern Michigan in a Mid-American Conference dual meet. 

The Chippewas (10-1, 3-0 MAC) returned home for the first time since Jan. 11 to defeat the Eagles (4-6, 2-2 MAC).

Head coach Jerry Reighard said that there were multiple intangibles that helped CMU succeed on the road, and it translated to their first home meet in over a month.

"My staff does a great job of making sure everyone knows exactly where they're supposed to be and how to do things," Reighard said. "We're very meticulous and that lends a comfort." 

Reighard said that his team's preparation and structure helped fuel the successful performance.

In the first rotation, the Chippewas scored a season-high 48.750 on the vault. Pedrick led the way for CMU with a 9.800, sophomore Kennedy Johnson scored a 9.775, freshmen Sierra Demarinis and Morgan Tong scored 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. 

Pedrick's score on the vault proved to be the top score in the event.

CMU ranks 29th in the country on the uneven bars, according to, but the Chippewas struggled on their second rotation. Gianna Plaksa led the way with a 9.825, matching her season high. Johnson and Abbie Zoeller each scored 9.775 and junior Hayley Porter added a 9.750.

Pedrick and senior Kailey Miller both fell during their routines, Pedrick's score of 9.250 counted for the Chippewas and the team score was a 48.375. That gave CMU a 97.125 to 96.525 lead after two rotations. 

Plaksa's performance scored the individual win for the event. Zoeller and Johnson gave CMU the top three positions. 

"Even with those two mishaps on bars, the whole team had our back," Pedrick said. "We weren't worried, we came back like we knew we could on beam and floor and hit two good events that we do everyday in practice."

The Chippewas hit the balance beam for their third rotation. Tong followed closely behind Pedrick with a 9.800, Macey Hilliker notched a 9.775 while Demarinis and Porter recorded 9.675 and 9.650, respectively. 

EMU posted a strong third rotation with two scores passing 9.800 and two scores at 9.700 or better on the floor exercise. The Eagles team score was 48.700. 

CMU's strong third rotation gave them a 145.925 to 145.225 lead over the Eagles heading into the final rotation. 

The final rotation put each team on their best event with the Chippewas on the floor, and the Eagles on the beam. 

Pedrick, the anchor for the Chippewa lineup, scored her second 9.900 of the meet with a routine that saw her stumble just once. That score gave her the team-high score for the season and extended CMU's edge to over a half-a-point. 

The Chippewas scored a 49.100 on the floor to secure the win. 

Tong said that they are driven by their energy and cohesiveness as a team. 

"When we rally each other up, it's motivating," Tong said. "We all know that we're amazing and that we love each other."

CMU will not have to wait long for their next home meet. They take on Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at McGuirk Arena. The Falcons are 0-9 overall and 0-3 in the MAC this season.