GYM MAC Champions
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Courtesy: Casey Spring

Broncos Post Big Scores in Win Over Northern Illinois

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 03/10/2013
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- The Western Michigan gymnastics team defeated Mid-American Conference counterpart Northern Illinois, 194.825 to 193.675, Sunday at University Arena. The team total was WMU's second highest of the year. With the win, WMU improved to 6-5 on the season and 3-2 in the MAC.

The Broncos led in the first and second rotations, but NIU pulled in front briefly after the third, 146.425 to 145.800. WMU closed out strong on floor exercise, scoring a 49.025, while the Huskies tallied a 47.200 on balance beam.

Western Michigan started off the meet on vault, and recorded the second highest team total in program history with a 49.050. The record was set last year under Kuzara at home against Ball State with a 49.175.

WMU had the top individual finisher in three of four events. Junior Lauren Bledsoe placed first on both vault (9.900) and floor (9.850). Her 9.900 on vault was a career-high and tied the second best score in school history.

Senior Caroline O'Brien also tied the second best score on the uneven bars, placing first with a career-high 9.900. It was O'Brien's second time this year registering a 9.900.

Freshman Kayla Weber won the all-around with a 39.175, which was good enough to tie for the third-highest total in school history. It was her second best all-around score of the year, second only to her school record-setting 39.300 against Eastern Michigan.

Weber finished runner-up on bars (9.825) and beam (9.775). She, O'Brien and senior Brittany Adams tied for second on floor, each with a 9.800. Freshman Jessi Buis was runner-up on vault (9.850).

The Broncos honored their seven seniors, Katlin Abbs, Brittany Adams, Hannah Brooks, Caroline O'Brien, Brynn Wienckowski, Lindsey Wienckowski and Sarah Wright after the meet. The senior class has been part of five of the top 10 meet scores in school history.

As part of Autism Awareness Day, WMU also held a special needs gymnastics demonstration prior to the meet with Larry Nassar. The Broncos raised over $1,500 towards the cause through a silent auction.

Western Michigan heads to Bowling Green , next Saturday, March 16, for its final regular season meet. The Broncos then host 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.

 

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