Gymnastics stumbles in home opener meet

Eastern Michigan University’s gymnastics team lost its home opener Saturday,191.075-192.625, against Ball State.

The team took part in “Beauty and the Beast,” a collaboration of two events-in-one hosted by the gymnastics and wrestling teams in Bowen Field House.

Gymnastics coach Steve Wilce said half of his starters have been out due to injuries, and his younger women have had to step in and fill the starters’ shoes.

“We are doing better,” Wilce said. “We’ve had too many injuries this year; however, our young people only continue to get better.”

Junior Tracie Tamashiro and sophomore Camille Cicchini recorded their career bests on the parallel bars, 9.675, tying each other for third place.

Tamashiro finished with a 9.025 on the beam. Junior Stacie Wood also received a personal best, posting a 9.725 on her floor exercise.

Junior Sabrina Thomas had an ugly fall during her routine on her floor exercise, only to have junior Amanda Fuller sub in and do a good job, Wilce said.

After the loss, the Eagles hold the same record as the Cardinals, 1-4 and 1-1 in the Mid-American Conference.

After Ball State came in, the introduction of “Beauty and the Beast” started play for the women and continued play for the men.
“The idea has been done by other schools,” Wilce said. “Other colleges have done this, so we thought we’d give it a try.”

Wilce said doing an event like this makes everything a little more special and helps increase the team’s fan base.

Two “Beauties” (gymnasts) were escorted by one “Beast” (wrestlers), as they walked outside the double doors to their corners of the field house.

Senior Nikole Viltz led the way for the Eagles, finishing second on the vault and balance beam scoring 9.675 and 9.960.

Other Eagles set personal records including sophomore Kristina Kurkmilis, recording her career best, 9.625, tying for third with the Cardinals’ Nicole Allen on the vault.

Kurkmilis also posted a 9.45 score on her floor exercise.
Senior Grace Couch also turned in a noteworthy performance, finishing tied for fourth on the balance beam, recording a 9.550.

It was all BSU, as both Nicole Allen and Brittney Emmons won the all-around competition with the earning scores of 38.700 and 38.625.

“Next weekend we have Western,” Wilce said. “They’re pretty good. We need to improve this week if we want to get with them.”
The gymnastics team continues MAC play this week at 7 p.m. Friday against Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

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