CMU gymnastics receives second conference loss


Junior Quinn Skrupa does a back handspring on beam during the gymnastics meet against Kent State Saturday, Feb. 24 in McGuirk Arena. Skrupa scored a 9.825 in the event. (CM-Life | Ella Miller)

Central Michigan gymnastics was handed its second conference loss of the season against Kent State Saturday in McGuirk Arena. 

The arena was filled with young fans for CMU’s youth day meet. 

“Really happy that we can include the community, not just gymnasts, but all youth,” head coach Christine MacDonald said. “It’s definitely an event where it’s high energy, it’s exciting, and I think it really draws in a lot of excitement for youth when they come and see exciting performances.” 

The final score of the meet was the Golden Flashes' 196.025 to CMU’s 195.425. The Chippewas are now 7-5 overall and 3-2 in Mid-American Conference competition. 

“I thought today, the team really showed resilience," MacDonald said. "So, I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways that we could probably take away today is, coming back from an event that we struggled on and to make some lineup changes.” 

CMU came out of the gate strong on vault as all six gymnasts competing on the event scored a 9.800 or higher.

Senior Elizabeth Cesarone placed first overall with 9.875. Freshmen Samantha Shannon and Zoie Pelfrey as well as sophomore Luciana Alvarado-Reid all scored 9.825 on the event. Both Pelfrey and Shannon tied or created a new career high for the event. 

Leading after the first rotation, the Chippewas struggled on their second rotation, bars. Despite a new career-high set by Alvarado-Reid with 9.950, overall the team scored a 48.650 on the event. This is the lowest score the team has seen on bars all season. 

“Today, we did have some uncharacteristic mistakes on bars," MacDonald said.  It hasn’t been that way this year for us, so I think that was something that really took us a little bit by surprise.” 

After the second rotation, the Golden Flashes took the lead and held onto it for the rest of the meet. 

Central Michigan continued on beam in the third rotation. Senior Adriana Bustelo took second overall on the event with 9.850 and tied with Alvarado-Reid. Junior Quinn Skrupa was right behind them with 9.825. 

“It’s one of our highest beam scores this year with some new faces in the lineup, so I thought that was really good, (and we) showed some composure there,” MacDonald said. 

Overall the team scored a 48.925 on beam, tying for best beam score this season. 

The Chippewas ended the meet on floor. Four gymnasts scored 9.900 or higher as graduate student Ashley Veglucci placed first on the event with a 9.925, a career high score. 

Senior Elizabeth Buttle also matched her career-high score with a 9.900, alongside senior Hallie Hornbacher and Alvarado-Reid who both tied Buttle's score on the event. 

Alvarado-Reid racked up a new career best in the all-around category, competing in all four rotations with an overall score of 39.525. 

“She really just did her best gymnastics and there were so many highlights for her today,” MacDonald said. “... Her bar score, that’s something we’ve been striving for and she’s definitely capable of that 10. So again, I think it’s definitely more of a testament to her gymnastics.” 

CMU is back on the road this weekend to compete in a quad meet in College Park, Maryland on Friday at 7 p.m. The team will face off against University of Maryland, George Washington University and William and Mary. 

“It’s going to prep us I think for those moments that are coming down the line, so something very exciting that we’re finally going to get to hit the road,” MacDonald said.