CMU falls to Illinois for third time this season, places third in quad meet

Having fallen to Illinois twice already this season, Central Michigan hoped to come away from Friday night’s meet in Champaign, Ill. with the advantage over the Fighting Illini. However, it was unsuccessful in doing so.

The Chippewas finished third in their quad meet between themselves, the aforementioned Illinois, Boise State and Northern Illinois. CMU posted an overall team score of 196.275, compared to Illinois’ 197.125 and Boise State’s 196.550. Northern Illinois finished fourth with 194.475.

Prior to Friday’s meet, Central Michigan finished no worse than second place in meets during which it scored at least 196 points.

However, with Boise State’s score matching Central’s season-best mark and Illinois exceeding this mark rather comfortably, Central Michigan likely would have had to set the tone early if it wanted to keep pace. Unfortunately, this was not quite the case.

Central Michigan opened up competition on the balance beam. A score of 48.925 for the rotation put them tied for second place after the first rotation. Three Chippewas managed a top-five finish in the event - senior Sierra DeMarinis placed second with a score of 9.900 (along with Boise State’s Adriana Popp), junior Hannah DeMers placed third with a score of 9.850 (along with a host of Illini gymnasts), and sophomore Adriana Bustelo earned a fifth-place finish with a 9.825.

The Chippewas have been on fire in the floor routine as of late, and Friday evening was more of the same. This is largely thanks to Demarinis’ success anchoring the lineup, as evidenced by her streak of consecutive meets with a score of 9.900+, which now sits at four. Her score of 9.900 was good for second place in the event. Juniors Taylor Pitchell and Aleysia Kolyvanova also earned top-five finishes, with scores of 9.875 and 9.825, respectively. Sophomore Katie Kowalski also scored 9.825.

Lia Kmieciak, who’s hometown of Naperville is only about two hours south of Champaign, competed in her fourth career meet on the uneven parallel bars, where she posted a score of 9.775. Additionally, the freshman competed on vault for the first time in her young Central Michigan career. She finished the rotation with a score of 9.675.

Elsewhere, CMU received top-five finishes from Avah Anthes and Elizabeth Cesarone in the vault, who finished in second and fifth, respectively. Audriana Hammond earned a fourth-place finish for her performance on the uneven parallel bars.

CMU returns home McGuirk for its final home meet on senior night next friday, March 11th, as they welcome Ball State in for one more shot at in-conference regular season action ahead of the Mid-American Conference Championships. The meet is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time.