CMU gymnastics loses to Illinois in season opener


Central Michigan coach Christine MacDonald watches as gymnasts compete against Kent State Feb. 16 at McGuirk Arena. 

The start of a new season saw Central Michigan gymnastics welcome in a Power Five opponent. 

The Chippewas took on Illinois Sunday in McGuirk Arena to begin the 2022 season. Though there were plenty of bright spots, CMU fell to the Fighting Illini 194.325-193.425. 

The two teams tied on the vault, while Illinois swept the uneven parallel bars, beam and floor. Two Chippewas, sophomore Katie Kowalski and junior Ashley Veglucci, took individual wins. 

Kowalski, a Freeland native, won the vault with a score of 9.825, while Veglucci took top honors in the floor exercise. 

Several also placed within the top five of their respective events, including junior Aleysia Kolyvanova (beam) and sophomores Hannah Demers (vault and uneven parallel bars), Adriana Bustelo (uneven parallel bars) and Elizabeth Cesarone. Kowalski tied for third in the beam. 

It was the first college meet for Kolynova and freshmen Avah Anthes and Quinn Skrupa. Anthes competed in the vault and the floor exercise, while Skrupa competed in the vault. Kolynova placed sixth in the floor exercise in addition to her performance on the beam. 

CMU opens the conference portion of the season Jan. 14 when it travels to Eastern Michigan.