The Eastern Michigan University women’s gymnastics team finished first Sunday afternoon with a final score of 194.875 over the University of Maryland, Towson University and the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pa.
EMU sophomore Kendall Valentin scored career-highs on the balance beam and the vault finishing with a 9.85 and 9.825, respectively. Valentin also scored a 9.850 on the uneven bars.
“Kendall did a great job today; I am very happy with how she performed,” EMU coach Jay Santos said. “What she did today was simply a reflection of how hard she worked in the pre-season and the preparation that she has put into this point. She is going to be a big part of any success we have this year and we are looking forward to seeing this type of performance from her many times this season.”
Valentin, who had offseason surgery, competed in all three events and also did an exhibition on floor. It was the first time in her collegiate career competing on floor.
“The first meet always brings along a ton of nerves, and this preseason I had to work through coming back from an injury and learning some new skills, so being able to come out and hit solid routines was incredible,” Valentin said. “Competing all four events was new for me but I had a strong mindset and was confident with my routines, and I'm glad it all came together. My teammates and I were super excited about this meet and came in with a positive mindset, and ultimately got the win.”
The Eagles also had strong contributions from sophomore Catie Conrad, who had a career-high day on the vault with a 9.85, a 9.825 on the balance beam and tied her career-high on the uneven bars with a 9.825.
Sophomore Rachel Slocum also had a career-high on the vault with a 9.85 and scored a 9.750 on floor. Junior Natalie Gervais and senior Kimberly Ebeyer both scored a 9.775 on beam.
“I was very pleased with how the team competed today, they really came out strong and looked very confident right from the outset,” EMU coach Jay Santos said. “We talked quite a bit about coming into this meet with confidence and energy and I think the did a great of controlling their focus, making the adjustments needed and bringing a lot energy and passion to what we did today.”
Maryland finished second in the meet with a final score of 194.400, Towson finished third with 192.775 and Pittsburgh finished last with 191.050. Going into the meet, Maryland was ranked no. 32 in the country.
As of the night of Jan. 10, EMU is ranked no. 20 on the Road to Nationals website.
The Eagles travel to Kalamazoo next Sunday for a Mid-American Conference meet against Western Michigan University and Bowling Green State University. The meet is expected to start at 1 p.m.
EMU Results per EMUEagles.com (* denotes career high)
Kendall Valentin 9.875*
Catie Conrad 9.850*
Rachel Slocum 9.850*
Julia Schwartz 9.775
Kimberly Ebeyer 9.725
Sydney McEachern 9.550
Kendall Valentin 9.850
Catie Conrad 9.825
Kirsten Gendron 9.725*
Sydney McEachern 9.700
Natalie Gervais 9.400*
Lacey Rubin 9.150
Kendall Valentin 9.850*
Catie Conrad 9.825*
Kimberly Ebeyer 9.775
Natalie Gervais 9.775
Megan Hultgren 9.700*
Lacey Rubin 9.700
Rachel Slocum 9.750
Kimberly Ebeyer 9.675
Kirsten Gendron 9.675*
Sydney McEachern 9.650
Natalie Gervais 9.625*
Catie Conrad 9.550*
Catie Conrad 39.050*
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