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MAC champion gymnasts sweep league honors

March 26, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's gymnastics team captured the 2006 Mid-American Conference Championship Saturday afternoon in WMU's University Arena. It was the capstone to a long list of MAC honors and awards for Bronco gymnasts this season.

The Broncos also had the best regular season record, 5-1, in MAC dual meets. Their only loss was to Central Michigan University at Mount Pleasant, after WMU had already clinched the regular season title. Central Michigan finished second at the MAC Championships with a team total of 193.175, less than one point behind WMU's winning total of 193.800.

WMU also had the top two individual totals at the championships. Junior Jennifer Sturgis of Novi, Mich., was first after tying her career and season high with a score of 39.100. Senior Cherisse Marier from Windsor, Ontario, finished second overall with a score of 39.050.

Coach Terry Karwoski was named MAC Coach of the Year. Marier is the MAC Gymnast of the Year and was also named the league's Senior of the Year. Both Marier and Sturgis were named to the All-MAC First Team.

One year ago, the Broncos finished last in the conference, and the 2006 MAC championship is the first in gymnastics for WMU in 19 years. The last time WMU won the league title, in 1987, Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard was the coach, and Coach Terry Karwoski was a member of the team.

At the league championships, WMU tied with Central Michigan on vault in their first rotation of the day after both teams scored a 48.750. The Broncos finished second on bars with a 48.325 and shined on beam taking first-place honors with a 48.875. WMU ended the meet with a second-place finish on floor with a 48.850.

Sturgis was the top finisher on beam with 9.850, and teammate junior Shelby Gribeck placed second with 9.800. Marier was second on floor, scoring 9.825, and earned a first-place finish on bars with 9.775. Bronco junior Courtney Schmid tied for second on bars with a score of 9.750. Sturgis topped out the day with a 9.875 on vault.

MAC Championships (Team Scores)

1. WMU Broncos (193.800)
2. Central Michigan (193.175)
3. Kent State (192.700)
4. Eastern Michigan (192.075)
5. Northern Illinois (191.225)
6. Bowling Green (190.875)
7. Ball State (188.225)

Related story
Marier and Sturgis earn MAC academic honors

Media contact: Paula Haughn, (269) 387-4138, paula.haughn@wmich.edu

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