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Courtesy: Casey Spring

Bronco Gymnastics Holds Off UIC to Remain Unbeaten

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 02/05/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan pulled off a 193.825 to 193.425 victory after trailing Illinois-Chicago by a quarter of a point heading into the final rotation Sunday at University Arena. With the win, the Broncos kept their record unblemished at 5-0 on the season, the program's best start since the team rattled off six wins to open the 1988 season.

Western Michigan led 97.425 to 96.425 after going up on vault and the uneven bars, but lost the lead on balance beam in the third rotation. The Broncos managed a 47.575 while UIC totaled a 48.825 on floor exercise, pulling the Flames ahead 145.250 to 145.000. WMU finished out strong on floor in the final rotation however, to tilt the score back in its favor. WMU went 48.825 on floor and UIC tallied a 48.175 on beam. UIC fell to 4-4 on the year with the loss.

"I am extremely proud of our effort today," said third year Bronco head coach Dave Kuzara. "UIC is a great team and we were able to hold them off and get a win."

Western Michigan took the individual crown in three of four events and had the meet's top all-arounder. Lauren Bledsoe won vault with a 9.850, tying a career and team season high. She and teammate Cepeda Carter were part of a four-way tie for second on floor, each with a 9.800. Hannah Brooks was runner-up on vault, tying a career-high with a 9.775.

Caroline O'Brien joined Bledsoe with a first place and runner-up finish. O'Brien tied UIC's Chantel Turk on bars with a 9.825, and took second on beam with a 9.775. Taylor Zondervan's 9.825 placed first on floor and she claimed the all-around title, registering a 38.775.

As a team, WMU posted a 48.825 on bars, ranking as its second highest total of the season, behind last week's 48.950 against Bowling Green, and 10th highest all-time in program history.

Western Michigan is on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Eastern Michigan, Feb. 11, and then to Illinois State, Feb. 17.