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.
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
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)
Rachel Slocum 9.85
Catie Conrad 9.80
Kimberly Ebeyer 9.775
Ciara Gresham 9.75*
Julia Schwartz 9.75
Kendall Valentin 9.70
Kendall Valentin 9.90
Catie Conrad 9.80
Natalie Gervais 9.75
Lacey Rubin 9.75
Julia Schwartz 9.625*
Sydney McEachern 9.6
Natalie Gervais 9.90
Catie Conrad 9.875*
Lacey Rubin 9.875
Kendall Valentin 9.875*
Kimberly Ebeyer 9.80
Megan Hultgren 9.75
Kimberly Ebeyer 9.90*
Sydney McEachern 9.90*
Rachel Slocum 9.90*
Ciara Gresham 9.85*
Catie Conrad 9.80
Natalie Gervais 9.50
Catie Conrad 39.275