LIVE BLOG: No. 14 Central Michigan at No. 28 Eastern Michigan

Today Eastern Michigan will be hosting conference rival Central Michigan in the Convocation Center for its home opener in what is sure to be a solid match-up. Central Michigan is currently ranked No. 1 in the MAC, with Eastern Michigan coming in right behind it as No. 2. Both teams kicked off their season with a win and will be eager to continue that streak today.

The Chippewas have the edge, but if the Eagles do what they are capable of, it should make for a very interesting meet. The two teams are within three tenths of each other on all events but vault, where Central Michigan, anchored by senior Denelle Pedrick and her double twisting Yurchenko, have the significant edge.

Possibly one of the most exciting aspects of today’s competition will be the battle for the all around title, with four gymnasts equally capable of winning if they hit all four events to their full capabilities. From Central Michigan, senior Denelle Pedrick and freshman Hannah DeMers will be the two front runners, and from Eastern Michigan keep your eye on senior Emili Dobronics and junior Jada Rondeau. Dobronics did not compete bars last week, though, so we’ll see what she does today (she competed bars at every meet in 2019, so it’s something that makes me wonder why she sat out to start 2020). Also noteworthy: Eagles sophomore Kara Roberts missed last season due to injury, and has been looking great so far this year. 

Looks like the Eagles are debuting a new leo!

I am really excited for this meet. The Michigan State quad stream last week didn’t feature much of Central Michigan, and the Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green meet wasn’t streamed at all – so this will be my first real look at both teams!

Rotation 1: Eastern Michigan vault, Central Michigan bars

Kosanovich (EMU): front handspring pike, hop forward. This starts out of 9.900 I think? 9.650

Kotas (CMU): Toe on tkatchev was nice and high. Bail to handstand good, but then she went over on the handstand. Stays on the bar, though. Double back dismount. 9.150

These new EMU leos are very sparkly. I like! 

Hartung (EMU): FTY, piked down landing and small step. 9.675

Hauser (CMU): Hecht mount. Blind change… and the stream cut out. 9.700

Stream cut out during that routine, but we appear to be back.

Harden (EMU): Front handspring pike vault. Legs separated and a hop. 9.750

Johnson (CMU): Giant full, tkatchev, very high. Bail to handstand was solid. Good last handstand. Tucked full in dismount with a hop. 9.750

Parris (EMU): FTY. Ouch, it looks like her hand slipped and she crashed it. Yikes. She appears to be okay, though, so thats good. 8.400

Demarinis (CMU): They cut back over part way through the routine. Nice handstand. Falls on her double front dismount. So each team has one fall now. 8.925

Big pause before Dobronics goes. Commentators said she is dealing with a shoulder injury, which explains the absence on bars. 

Dobronics (EMU): FTY, pikes down slightly. hop to the side. Strongest vault so far. 9.700

DeMers (CMU): SKY HIGH tkatchev, wow. Bail to handstand, legs separate just a little. Tucked full in dismount, stuck. 9.775

Roberts (EMU): FTY. I do not love this video angle for the vault. Lands a little deep but overall nice. 9.750

Pedrick (CMU): Another sky high tkatchev. Giant full into a pak salto, beautiful. Beautiful last handstand. Toe-on front half dismount, stuck. 9.850

After 1: Eastern Michigan 48.525, Central Michigan 48.225

Both teams had a mostly solid start, but gave up some tenths from form and landings they will want to work on. Each side also saw a fall, with Parris from Eastern Michigan having a pretty scary crash on vault – I’m just glad she seems to be okay and will be up first in the second rotation.

Rotation 2: Eastern Michigan bars, Central Michigan vault

Pitchell (CMU): Yurchenko layout. Unclear if that was the intended vault or if something felt off and she bailed on it. 9.550

Hartung (EMU): In for Molly Parris. Jaeger release, nice. Came off the bar early on her dismount and falls forward out of her double layout. 8.900

Johnson (CMU): FTY, piked down a little bit and hop on the landing but otherwise a solid vault. 9.800

Harris (EMU): Blind change into a jaeger into overshoot, nice. Giant full into a double back dismount with a stuck landing. Solid routine! 9.725

Demarinis (CMU): FTY, tiny hop. Again, this camera angle is not good to be able to see body shape (unless they show a replay). 9.775

Roberts (EMU): Giant half to geinger release into overshoot, some form and short handstands. Tucked full out dismount, hop. 9.700

Williams (CMU): FTY. Lots of power with a bouncy hop forward. 9.875

Rondeau (EMU): Blind half to jaeger to overshoot – bent the knees, looks like she might have hit the mat with her feet? DLO dismount with a hop. 9.750

DeMers (CMU): GORGEOUS FTY. Clean form, stuck landing. Beautiful. 9.900

Bezold (EMU): Giant full into a geinger into overshoot, beautiful. Legs pressed together. Hand slipped a little on that but she kept it moving. DLO dismount. 9.850

Pedrick (CMU): Doesn’t do the DTY today, she just did the FTY. Tiny hop. 9.800

Harden (EMU): Looked like an overall good routine, some issues on the transition. Commentators are saying this was an exhibition but it is not. 9.750

After 2: Central Michigan 97.375, Eastern Michigan 97.300

Well, the Chippewas had a great vault rotation there, scoring 49.150 which is the highest vault score of the entire conference so far. DeMers had a BEEEEEAUTIFUL Yurchenko full, I’m glad the score reflected it. Eagles freshman Molly Parris was set to lead off on bars but was pulled – I’m hoping she is okay and it was precautionary. 

Rotation 3: Eastern Michigan beam, Central Michigan floor

The Eagles are currently ranked EIGHTH in the nation on beam, folks. This should be a pretty rotation!

Gregory (EMU): Switch leap, standing LOSO, nice. Beat jump into a sheep jump – doesn’t quite get her head back enough for me. BHS LOSO, some legs but solid. Some unique beam choreography, I like it. BHS 1.5 dismount, small hop. Great lead off for the Eagles. 9.575

Pitchell (CMU): Tucked full-in to start, landed a little short and hopped to the side but kept it on her feet. Front layout front full, solid. Double tuck to finish, mostly stuck. 9.675

Roberts (EMU): BHS LOSO, flexed feet but solid. cat leap, switch half. Front toss, a little off balance but manages to hold it. Side aerial full twist dismount, some form in the air and a step to the side. 9.650

Johnson (CMU): Big double tuck to start, keeps the step back mostly controlled. She even has power on her leap series. Front layout front full with a hop out on the landing. Whip back 1.5 twist to punch front, that’s a fun last pass. 9.750

Dobronics (EMU): BHS BHS LOSO, some bent knees but very solid. Love to see a triple series. Pike half leap (?), nice. 1.5 dismount, tiny hop. 9.775

Demarinis (CMU): Double tuck to start, well done. Good amplitude on the leaps. Second pass is a 1.5 into front layout, hop out of it. Double pike, lands short and takes a step forward. 9.675

Price (EMU): Cat leap front toss into BHS, solid and fun combo. Illusion turn, a little off balance but LOVE. Beat jump into wolf quarter leap. Split leap beat jump into front full dismount, stuck. That was fun. 9.600 – raised to 9.750

DeMers (CMU): Front handspring front double full, lovely. Strong double pike for the second pass. Lots of energy and showmanship, this is fantastic. Solid leap series. Final pass front layout to rudi, looks like she stepped out of bounds but I don’t know if the flag went up. 9.750

Satler (EMU): BHSBHS LOSO, loses her balance and comes off. Split leap, pike quarter jump. Roundoff double twist dismount. Nice routine minus the fall. 9.200

Pedrick (CMU): Beautiful triple full to start, controlled landing. Wow. Second pass 1.5 to punch front, another controlled landing. Also has lots of attitude on floor, clearly loves to perform. Big double pike to finish. Super fun ending pose, too.  9.875

Rondeau (EMU): Sharp full turn to start. BHS BHS LOSO, lands a little low and lunged but stays on. Little under 180 on her leaps. Round off 1.5 dismount, step on the landing. 9.750

I guess CMU is just putting up five on floor today. Sydney Williams was slated to go but scratched. 

Exhibition from Mickayla Stuckey on beam for EMU: BHS LOSO into a beat jump, very solid. Very solid leap series. Side areal layout full dismount, stuck. That’s a nice routine and has lineup potential for sure. 

After 3: Central Michigan 146.100, Eastern Michigan 145.800

Looks like the beam judges are being pretty tight with scoring when it comes to form, some of those came in a smidge lower than I would have thought. The Eagles scored over seven tenths lower today on beam than they did last week. Over on floor the Chippewas had a solid rotation, coming in just a little lower than they did last week. Central Michigan pretty much just needs to stay the course and they should walk away with the win here, but beam is the great equalizer so we will see.

Rotation 4 Eastern Michigan floor, Central Michigan beam

Looks like they raised Bri Price’s score, bridging that gap a little bit. 

Demarinis (CMU): BHS LOSO, solid. Huge switch half. Front aerial to beat jump. Big step forward on the dismount. 9.700

Price (EMU): 2.5 twist to start, some for and a step on the landing. Front layout to front full, had some bent legs. Two illusion turns, that’s fun. Front handspring to rudi, solid landing. 9.700

Tini (CMU): BHS LOSO, solid. Switch leap split half, a little shy of 180 on the second leap. Front aerial beat jump, breaks the connection a little bit. Some knees too. Roundoff double full dismount, big step. 9.750

Stuckey (EMU): Fun fact: she choreographed this routine herself! Big double pike to start, good landing. Solid leap series. 1.5 to front layout, lands almost sideways? Can’t tell if she slipped or what. Double tuck, chest low on the landing. 9.575. Seems…. a little low to me by comparison. 

Parker (CMU): BHS LOSO, some bent knees but solid. Kind of wobbles out of her leap series but stays on. cat leap to front aerial, again bent knees. 1.5 dismount, step on the landing. 9.725

Hartung (EMU): Double pike, low chest and big bounce forward. Front handspring double full I believe, some legs but mostly solid. Front handspring, front full punch front to finish. 9.450

DeMers (CMU): Beautiful leap series to start. cat leap front aerial, bends at the waist a little bit but saves it. Falls out of the full turn a little bit. BHS LOSO, tiny balance check but covers. All in all she just looks tentative. Side aerial full twist dismount, small hop. 9.750. 

Satler (EMU): 2.5 twist to punch front to start, good form. Front handspring front double full I think? Weird camera angle. Commentators said she might have gone out of bounds but it’s hard to tell. Front handspring to rudi to finish. All in all this was a good routine. 9.675

Tong (CMU): LOVE. THIS. MOUNT. Front aerial, slight break in the connection but into BHS LOSO. Beat jump to sheep jump, solid. Side aerial to full twist dismount, nice. That was a good routine. 9.900!

Roberts (EMU): Good opening pass, double pike, controlled landing. Leap series was solid. Beautiful 1.5 twist to punch front layout. I’m enjoying the burlesque music. Rudi into split jump to finish. This was the strongest routine for the Eagles by far. 9775

Pedrick (CMU): Candle mount, held long enough, good. BHS LOSO, solid. Leap series. Pretty much made up a skill by holding an arabesque to cover a balance check, that was pretty spectacular. Double full dismount stuck. 9.875 – which seems high considering the major balance check, but sure. 39.400 for Pedrick in the AA. 

Dobronics (EMU): Big double pike to start. Punch front into front full, good. Controlled leap series.  Double back to finish, lands just a little short but otherwise fine. 9.800. 

Final: Central Michigan 195.100, Eastern Michigan 194.275

This meet was about as close as I was anticipating it would be, with Central Michigan outscoring Eastern on every event but bars. There were some falls and form issues that both sides will want to clean up as the season progresses, but overall it was a good reminder that while the Chippewas are the favorite to win the MAC title this year, it is far from guaranteed. Senior Denelle Pedrick had a particularly strong day, winning the all around with a big 39.400. 


All around: Denelle Pedrick (CMU) 39.400
Vault: Hannah DeMers (CMU) 9.900
Bars: Courtney Bezold (EMU) and Denelle Pedrick (CMU) 9.850
Beam: Morgan Tong (CMU) 9.900
Floor: Denelle Pedrick (CMU) 9.875

Live blog by Kalley Leer

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