No. 28 Bronco Gymnastics Travels to No. 23 Kent State in Key MAC Meeting
Kent State and Western Michigan were slated to finish 1-2 in the 2013 MAC Preseason poll. The Golden Flashes were also selected to win the conference championship meet, which will be hosted by Western Michigan on March 23.
Western Michigan is off to a 2-0, 1-0 MAC start, posting a 193.500 to 192.725 victory at Michigan State, Jan. 12, and a 194.975 to 194.475 home win over Eastern Michigan, Jan. 20. An experienced Bronco squad features seven seniors and returns 14 members from last year.
Kent State is 2-2 on the season and will be competing in its first MAC meet. The Golden Flashes fell at Iowa State in their season opener, 193.625 to 193.575, and took second in a four-team meet last week. KSU recorded its program's first ever win over Penn State and also defeated Towson in that quad meet, recording a team total of 195.450. The 195.450 is the highest score recorded by a MAC team this season.
LAST YEAR VS. KENT STATE
Western Michigan defeated then-ranked No. 21 Kent State last year in the MAC opener on Jan. 25 in Kalamazoo, 192.650 to 192.025. It was the Broncos' first win over the Golden Flashes since Jan. 22, 2006.
Team Vault, #29 (48.763)
Team Uneven Bars, #14 (48.838)
Team Balance Beam, #37 (48.138)
Team Floor Exercise, #34 (48.500)
VAULT, BARS LEAD THE MAC
Western Michigan has the highest season average score among MAC teams on both vault (48.763) and uneven bars (48.838). Kent State ranks second in both competitions (V-48.750, UB-48.688) and is tied with Central Michigan for first on floor exercise (48.650).
Freshman Kayla Weber has won the all-around title in back-to-back meets to start her collegiate career and has also been named MAC Gymnast of the Week the past two consecutive weeks. Weber recorded a 39.150 against Michigan State and broke the school all-around record against Eastern Michigan with a 39.300. The previous mark was 39.225, set by Jennifer Sturgis in 2007. Weber has taken first in four individual events this season and finished runner-up on three others.
Click here to read a feature article on Weber by MLive.com.
BUIS CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
Freshman Jessi Buis has also adjusted well to collegiate gymnastics and has placed second on vault in each of her first two career competitions, recording a 9.850 at Michigan State and 9.800 vs. Eastern Michigan. Buis' mother Bonnie (Boggiano) Buis, is a well decorated Bronco gymnast, and helped WMU win a MAC Championship in 1987. She was MAC Senior Gymnast of the Year in 1991 and was inducted into Western Michigan's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
WMU HOSTS 2013 MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Western Michigan is the host of the 2013 MAC Championships, Saturday, March 23. It will be WMU's first time hosting since 2006, which is also the last team championship for Western Michigan. The championship meet rotates year-to-year between the seven conference schools that carry gymnastics.
WMU has two regular-season home meets left this season, Sunday, Feb. 24, against Central Michigan and Sunday, March 10, against Northern Illinois. It will be Girl Scout Day during the CMU meet and Autism Awareness/Senior Day for NIU.
2013 MAC Gymnastics Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Kent State
2. Western Michigan
3. Central Michigan
4. Bowling Green
5. Northern Illinois
6. Ball State
7. Eastern Michigan
MAC Gymnastics Champion - Kent State