RECAP: Ball State gymnastics vs. Central Michigan

Members of the gymnastics team watch teammate senior Sarah Ebeyer perform her routine on the beam during the meet against Kentucky Jan. 29 at John E. Worthen Arena. Breanna Daugherty // DN
Members of the gymnastics team watch teammate senior Sarah Ebeyer perform her routine on the beam during the meet against Kentucky Jan. 29 at John E. Worthen Arena. Breanna Daugherty // DN

MAC Standings

Eastern Michigan (2-0)

Ball State (2-0)

Northern Illinois (3-1)

Kent State (1-1)

Central Michigan (1-2)

Western Michigan (1-4)

Bowling Green (0-2)

Ball State gymnastics (4-6, 2-0) captured their fourth win of the season defeating Central Michigan (6-3, 1-2) by a score of 195.425-194.000. The Cardinals saw an improvement in their score as they jumped up their average by 1.25 points from the last meet.

Not only was the team feeling the excitement of the win, but so was the crowd. The team hosted a "Pink Out" event in awareness for Brest Cancer and was led onto the floor by those who attended Friday's princess ball. 

"I feel like the crowd was really in it today," Head coach Joanna Saleem said. "We had a lot of cheering and energy here today. Whenever the crowd is working with you like that, they're like the extra person that pushes you along." 

Small adjustments to routines seemed to be the key in the Cardinal's victory. From a clean mount to a steady dismount, those tiny points can add up. 

"Anytime you're focused on little incremental things, it makes a better score obtainable," Saleem said. "You have to think about what you can control in your routine such as positing your leg or pointing your chin. When you can do those things, it makes it a lot easier to make those leaps and bound towards the end of the season." 

The Cardinals found a lot of success in focusing on the little things. According to Junior Jordyn Penny, while the routine is important, the judges put a lot of thought into those little things as well.

"The little stuff adds up," Penny said. "That's when your score can get lower and lower if you don't focus on the little things in your routine. It really does matter a lot." 

The team's finishing score was the highest this season, surpassing its old season high by 0.475 points. This finish also bumps the team’s average up 0.205 points in the national rankings.

The team saw first place finishes in three out of the four events.  Penny tied for first on the uneven bars with a score of 9.800. Junior Baylee Bell placed first on the balance beam and sophomore Kaitlyn Menzione tied for first in the floor event with a score of 9.850.

"I'm just looking to stay consistent and and getting more repetitions in when I'm in the gym," Penny said. "We've been working a lot on details in the gym and I feel like I'm doing well in there. It really showed tonight." 

Other notable finishes include a second-place finish by Penny and a third-place finish by senior Shelby Arms on the vault, a third-place tie by Senior Kayla Beckler on the uneven bars and a third-place finish by junior Jackie Duffy on the balance beam. Senior Sarah Ebeyer and Beckler tied for third on floor with a score of 9.825.

"We were really working together as a group today," Saleem said. "Everyone kinda trusted each other a little more and there was a lot more focus on the floor. It wasn't about being perfect, it was about coming out having fun and do what we do in the gym." 

Going back into the gym, the colliding mindsets of "crossing the line" and brushing up on the little things is still in the mind of the team in perpetration for the next meet.

"I'm focused on going back into the gym and focusing on little details," Beckler said. "I'm not trying to make huge improvement, but little improvements on each and every event." 

With this win, the Cardinals remain undefeated in the Mid-American Conference. Next up the Cardinals hit the road to travel to Bowling Green Friday.


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