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Courtesy: Casey Spring

WMU Defeats Eastern Michigan, Weber Breaks All-Around Record

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 01/20/2013
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Bronco freshman Kayla Weber took first in three of four events and broke the school all-around record, leading Western Michigan to a 194.975 to 194.475 victory over Eastern Michigan in the first Mid-American Conference meet of the season.

Weber had a first-place score of 9.825 on both the uneven bars and floor exercise won the balance beam with a 9.850. She finished runner-up on vault with a 9.800. Her scores added up to an all-around total of 39.300, breaking the program record of 39.225, set by Jennifer Sturgis against Michigan State in 2007.

"It is really kind of crazy that Kayla broke the school record in just her second college meet," said WMU head coach Dave Kuzara. "Its really exciting. The one thing about Kayla is that she has really latched onto every philosophy that we have. College gymnastics is a team sport, and she really likes that aspect of it. She isn't thinking about her individual performance, she is really doing it for the team, and that kind of gets her out of her own head."

Weber made an impression last week at Michigan State in her first career outing, where she also won the all-around title with a 39.150. That score helped earn her the recognition of MAC Gymnast of the Week, as well as ranked her 20th in the nation in the GymInfo poll. Her all-around total against Eastern Michigan will likely move her up the rankings when they are released Monday.

Western Michigan led throughout the meet against the Eagles, but Eastern Michigan had higher scores on both vault and balance beam. The Broncos got started with a 48.525 on vault and posted a 48.875 on bars. The team then went 48.600 on beam and finished strong with a 48.975 on floor. EMU scored a 48.725 on vault, 48.475 on bars, 48.650 on beam and 48.625 on floor.

WMU senior Lauren Bledsoe recorded the top score on vault with a 9.850. Jessi Buis tied Weber in second with a 9.800. Caroline O'Brien and Shelby MacDonald tied for runner-up on bars with a 9.800, and went three-four on beam, registering a 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. Bledsoe and Michelle Adams shared second place on floor with a 9.800.

"This was a really big meet for us," Kuzara said. "Eastern Michigan was well-prepared and well-coached. It was one of the best Eastern team's I have seen in a long time. The difference with our team now is we are four years into the program and are senior-driven. We didn't flinch at all."

The Broncos (2-0, 1-0 MAC) travel to MAC preseason favorite Kent State for their next meet, Jan. 25. WMU was picked to finish second in the conference behind the Flashes.

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