Gymnastics wins big at MAC Championships

The historic season of the Eastern Michigan women’s gymnastics team continued Saturday afternoon as they won the Mid-American Conference championship with a 196.425 in Muncie, Ind.

The Eagles defeated the other six MAC schools and recorded their second MAC championship in program history. The only other time EMU has won the championship was in 2007.

"It's amazing," EMU coach Jay Santos said. "I told the team it was going to be a close meet and it would come down to who focused on the details. The girls showed up and did amazing. It was the second highest score of the year for us, and they did a fantastic job. I'm so proud of what they did. We told them not to sweat the little things and just fight for everything.

Record breaking night:

The 2016 season has been filled with record breaking nights for the Eastern Michigan team.

Today was no different as seven different gymnasts broke their career-highs.

On beam, sophomore Catie Conrad and Kendall Valentin both scored a 9.875. The beam rotation, as a whole, also broke the program record with a 49.325

Sophomore Julia Schwartz scored a 9.625 on the bars and freshman Ciara Gresham scored a 9.75 on vault.

On the floor, senior Kimberly Ebeyer, junior Sydney McEachern and sophomore Rachel Slocum all notched career-highs scoring a 9.9 and Gresham scored a 9.85.

Ebeyer scores big in final meet in home state:

For lone senior, Kimberly Ebeyer, it was a special night for her because she was able to compete for the MAC championship in her home state, with family in the stands and her sister, Sarah, competing for Ball State University.

Ebeyer not only left the building with championship gold but contributed to the win with a career-high 9.9 on the floor, a strong 9.775 on vault and a 9.8 routine on the balance beam.

“It’s the best feeling,” Ebeyer said. “I enjoyed every second of it and I’m so proud of what this team has done.”

“She’s been great for us all year,” Santos said. “I think she’s doing the best gymnastics of her career. It’s really great to have a senior, at this moment, doing the best stuff they can and send them off right. I don’t think we can do anymore than send her off with this championship.”

Slocum takes home MAC Specialist of the Year:

Sophomore Rachel Slocum spent the 2016 season perfecting her floor routine as well a new layout on the vault.

Both paid off this season as she finished first in the MAC in vault with a 9.865 RQS score and eighth on the floor with a 9.850 RQS score.

With such a strong season on those two events, the MAC announced her as Specialist of the Year following the meet.

Looking Forward:

The Eagles now will head for NCAA Regionals, which will take place on April 2. The location for where they will compete will be determined Monday afternoon on the Regionals Selection Show at 4 p.m.

All results below are from EMUEagles.com:

Gymnast of the Year: Rachel Stypinski, Kent State

Specialist of the Year: Rachel Slocum, Eastern Michigan

Senior Gymnast of the Year: Alyssa Nocella, Bowling Green

Freshman of the Year: Kasey Janowicz, Central Michigan

Coach of the Year: Brice Biggin, Kent State

2016 All-Tournament Team

Denasiha Christian, Ball State

Lauren Feely, Bowling Green

Laura Mitchell, Bowling Green

Catie Conrad, Eastern Michigan

Natalie Gervais, Eastern Michigan

Rachel Slocum, Eastern Michigan

Kendall Valentin, Eastern Michigan

Taylor Bolender, Central Michigan

Megan Lamphere, Central Michigan

Bryttany Kaplan, Central Michigan

Jordan Hardison, Kent State

Team Results

1. Eastern Michigan 196.425

2. Ball State 195.650

3. Bowling Green 195.625

4. Central Michigan 195.600

5. Kent State 195.325

6. Northern Illinois 194.975

7. Western Michigan 194.900

Eagles Results (*denotes career high, # denotes a program record)

Team 196.425

Vault 48.925

Rachel Slocum 9.85

Catie Conrad 9.80

Kimberly Ebeyer 9.775

Ciara Gresham 9.75*

Julia Schwartz 9.75

Kendall Valentin 9.70

Bars 48.825

Kendall Valentin 9.90

Catie Conrad 9.80

Natalie Gervais 9.75

Lacey Rubin 9.75

Julia Schwartz 9.625*

Sydney McEachern 9.6

Beam 49.325#

Natalie Gervais 9.90

Catie Conrad 9.875*

Lacey Rubin 9.875

Kendall Valentin 9.875*

Kimberly Ebeyer 9.80

Megan Hultgren 9.75

Floor 49.350

Kimberly Ebeyer 9.90*

Sydney McEachern 9.90*

Rachel Slocum 9.90*

Ciara Gresham 9.85*

Catie Conrad 9.80

Natalie Gervais 9.50

All-Around

Catie Conrad 39.275


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