After the Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team took third place at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Bowling Green on March 27, it looked like the season was over.
But, for Kaylyn Millick and Nikole Viltz there’s one more contest left on the calendar.
The two will participate in the NCAA Central Regional competition on Saturday, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky. Millick will compete as an all-arounder, and Viltz will perform on the balance beam.
“Nikole Viltz has been really developing over the last three years on beam and this year we really saw her grow as an athlete,” assistant coach Andrea Siik said.
“She ended up being our anchor, which is one of the toughest spots to compete on beam, and she was consistently getting 9.7’s and above at the end of the season, and because of her growth and development she gets to go to regionals.”
This is Viltz’s first trip to regionals.
“Actually, they told me that I was an alternate so we weren’t sure, and then yesterday they told me I was going so, I did a little dance in Andie and Steve’s offices,” Vlitz said.
“I was really excited. I never thought I would be able to go.”
Millick was happy to accomplish one of her personal goals for the season.
“It’s really exciting, especially for a freshman, it’s a big accomplishment,” Millick said. “It’s really an honor to make it.”
“Kaylyn may have had the best freshman year of any athlete we’ve ever had,” head coach Steve Wilce said.
Both gymnasts are focused on their final chance to perform this season.
“I didn’t really make all my routines at MACs so I definitely want to take that step forward,” Millick said. “Just hit my routines and see what happens, that’s all I really can do.”
Viltz said she was proud of her team and ready to represent EMU.
“I want to hit,” she said. “I love competing for our team, and it’s nice to do it for yourself too…I’m so thankful to have the girls on the team that I do because I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
The Eagles are already aiming for a MAC championship next season.
“We had a really young team this year and now they all have this year behind them, and the confidence that they built this year, so I think that we have the potential to do really well,” Viltz said.
“And our freshmen coming in are good, too, it’s a good set up for the next few years.”