Gymnastics finishes second at MAC championships to Northern Illinois

Junior Sydney Williams reaches the vaulting point on Dec. 7 at McGuirk Arena.

Central Michigan took second at the Mid-American Conference gymnastics championships Saturday, finishing behind Northern Illinois.

The Chippewas finished with a team score of 195.57, which was good enough for second out of the seven teams at the event. Denelle Pedrick led the way for the Chippewas, as she has so often this season. 

CMU started the first rotation on the vault and finished with a team score of 48.875. Pedrick led the team with a 9.900 on her way to being named MAC championships vault champion. After the first rotation, Ball State held the lead with a 49.150.

The second rotation was a bye for the Chippewas. For the third rotation, CMU moved onto the uneven parallel bars. Gianna Plaksa led the team, posting a score of 9.850 and winning the event. CMU finished with a team score of 48.825. After three rotations, CMU had a total team score of 97.700.

Ball State still held the lead after three rotations with a team score of 98.075.

To start the fourth rotation, the Chippewas were on the beam. The Chippewas overcame an early fall to post a 48.825 team score. Plaksa scored a 9.825 as well as fellow senior Skyler Memmel who anchored the Chippewas.

After four rotations, CMU and Eastern Michigan were tied for first each team with 146.525. The Chippewas would have a bye for the fifth rotation.

For the sixth rotation CMU went to the floor. Abbie Rose Zoeller and Sydney Williams each posted a score of 9.850. The Chippewas registered a team score of 49.050. 

After six rotations, CMU had a score of 195.575, good enough for first place. The Chippewas were on a bye for the seventh rotation and had to watch to see if their posted score would be enough to win. 

Northern Illinois scored a 49.275 on the beam in the final rotation. Mia Lord led the Huskies with a score of 9.900. That score pushed NIU into first place with a total team score of 195.975, just edging out Central Michigan. 

Next up for the Chippewas is to await their post season fate. CMU is likely to earn an invite to the NCAA regional championships. 

The team will have to wait until March 25 to know if they are selected.