Gymnastics Finishes Third at MAC Championships
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan had four different individuals reach the podium and placed third as a team at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois.
Regular season champion Central Michigan took home the conference crown for the third straight year, totaling a 195.675. Kent State placed second with a 195.225, ahead of WMU's 195.000. NIU took fourth (194.525), followed by Bowling Green (193.150), Eastern Michigan (193.150) and Ball State (192.950).
Western Michigan's 195.00 was the school's best ever score at the conference meet, topping last year's 194.150. The score was also WMU's fourth highest all-time, overall. It marked the third time this season WMU went 195.00 or better, after having done so just one other time in program history, back in 2004.
It was the second straight year WMU finished in the top three, the first time accomplishing that feat since winning back-to-back titles under current Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard in 1987 and 1988.
Junior Caroline O'Brien finished runner-up on the uneven bars with a 9.850, while sophomore Kelsey Turnquist and senior Taylor Zondervan registered third place finishes. Turnquist scored a season-high 9.800 on the balance beam and Zondervan had a 9.875 on the floor exercise.
Senior Cepeda Carter was the fourth Bronco to reach the podium, totaling a career-best 38.975 in the all-around and placing third. It was the second time in her career Carter had a podium finish at the MAC Championships, also placing fourth on vault in 2010.
"We competed hard, and I couldn't be more proud of our effort and focus," said third-year head coach Dave Kuzara. "Having athletes place in three events, as well as the all-around was amazing. It is a great day to be a Bronco."
Carter had two top-10 event finishes, placing seventh on balance beam with a 9.750 and tying for eighth with Zondervan on bars with a 9.750. Sophomore Lauren Bledsoe also had a top-10 finish, placing 10th on floor, scoring a 9.825. Senior Shelia Dible finished off her career with a personal-best 9.775 on vault.