The Eastern Michigan University women’s gymnastics team finished its regular season strong at home, coming in second out of four teams at the Eagle Invitational. EMU had an overall team score of 194.575, which is its second highest score of the season after scoring 194.675 at South East Missouri State.
With the Mid-American Conference tournament coming up soon, the team is hitting its stride right now.
EMU was able to beat the Air Force Academy and the University of Alaska, but fell to MAC opponent Kent State University. Kent State is the first place team in the MAC and Eastern is currently in last at 0-3 in the standings.
EMU coach Steve Wilce was happy about his team’s improvement.
“It was a nice night but we need to fix things on the beam, if we can do that we can beat teams like Kent who are the best of the conference,” Wilce said, “We are really starting to hit our stride and get our confidence late in the year.We have a good team and we need to stay healthy and fix little things, and own it when you go out there.”
The team started off on the beam and registered its lowest score, with a 48.325.
The floor routine was the final round of the meet and the team stepped up and preformed posting a team high 49.275.
Freshman Khadijah Hudson closed out the event with a 9.90 score and finished the meet strong for the Eagles.
“Floor is by far our best event and we will need to finish hard with it in the MAC so that will be our strength,” Hudson said. “I love floor because I get to anchor it, it feels amazing because I know I got a good three years ahead of me.”
Hudson was named the MAC Gymnast of the Week and has been a huge addition to the team this season.
“They do call me ‘Kha-diva’ on the team, but we have all the skills and we just need to focus on hitting our beam routine.” Hudson said. “Every single time we are about to win it always comes down to beam, I think we just need to get our confidence up when we go out there.”
Junior Chantelle Loehner also had a career high on the floor routine with a 9.85.
“It was really exciting ’cause the energy was up on floor and we have been working on closing out our meets and today we did a great job of that,” Loehner said. “Personally, I just need to work on little foot faults and really nailing that landing without getting any deductions from that. As the season is ending I think we are finally getting our confidence up and really getting comfortable with our routines.”
The Eagles will have the team’s final meet against in state-rival Central Michigan before the MAC tournament begins. Wilce said he’s confident the team can finish the year strong.
“We need to be tighter on bars and put all the pieces together because we are getting good.” Wilce said, “It is all about confidence and they need to go out there and own it. If we go out there and bring our A game then we will have a good shot.”