GYM MAC Champions
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Courtesy: Casey Spring

Bronco Gymnasts Edged at Eastern Michigan

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 02/15/2014
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YPSILANTI, Mich.- Western Michigan went over a 194 for the first time this season, but it wasn’t enough, as the Broncos were edged at Eastern Michigan Saturday evening, 194.500 to 194.125.

Sophomore Jessi Buis tied for first on vault with EMU’s Bianca Jordaan, both scoring a 9.825. Buis and classmate Kayla Weber tied for second on the balance beam, each with a 9.775. It was the third Mid-American Conference meet Buis has claimed the top score on vault, and she has finished no lower than second in the five conference duals. Weber also had one of her better vaults of the year with a 9.750, taking fifth.

Senior Shelby MacDonald continued her prowess on the uneven bars, winning the event outright with a 9.775. MacDonald has placed first on bars in four of the five MAC meets. Sophomore Miya Dotson tied for second with a 9.750.

Senior Lauren Bledsoe had WMU’s best score on floor exercise with a 9.800, good for third place, and freshman Audry Merritt took fourth with a 9.775.

Eastern Michigan tied a season-best 48.725 on vault while WMU went 48.475 on bars in the first rotation and the Eagles carried the lead throughout the meet. WMU trailed after two rotations, 97.275 to 96.900 and 145.975 to 145.450 going into the final rotation. Western Michigan did end the meet with its best beam score of the year, totaling a 48.675. All six Broncos hit 9.600 or better in their routines.

"We had strong leadership from our seniors tonight," said WMU head coach Penny Jernigan. "Kristen Seidowski led us off on bars with a solid, clean exercise and Shelby MacDonald anchored us with another first place finish on that event. Lauren Bledsoe was our high score again this week on floor and Kelsey Turnquist was a rock for us on beam.

"We are pleased to come away with a strong score on the road, but we know we are capable of performing even better. Our team's goal hasn't changed. We aim to improve every day in practice and every week in competition."

Western Michigan hosts Michigan State in its next meet, on Autism Awareness Day, Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. Admission for all WMU home meets is free.