LIVE BLOG: Central Michigan, Western Michigan at Michigan Exhibition

It’s the first tri-meet of the (pre)season and my first live blog! I am PUMPED! Today reigning national champion Michigan will host fellow in-state teams Central Michigan and Western Michigan in a preseason exhibition. Refresh this page for all the latest updates. You can also find the links to live scoring and the stream (BTN+) here. Before we begin, let’s take a look at these teams.

Last season, Central Michigan finished No. 26 while Western Michigan ranked 34th, with Michigan needless to say, finishing first. Central Michigan is returning top performers Sierra DeMarinis and Hannah DeMers, as well as beam specialist Morgan Tong. The Chippewas also have a former 4-star recruit on their hands with freshman Quinn Skrupa. Although CMU qualified to the second day of regionals last year with its three seniors Nora Fettinger, Sydney Williams and Kennedy Rae Johnson, this year’s team might have the potential to improve on it’s standing even more.

Western Michigan is also returning its top gymnast Payton Murphy while bringing in a freshman class of eight. These freshmen will surely make an impact while also cleaning up the spots left by the seniors and the medical retirements of Charlotte Tishkoff and Emily Carless. The Broncos will need to work hard as a team to fill those holes. Watch for that to happen tonight.

Michigan had an incredible, record-breaking season last year, and the chances to improve are in its favor. Although the Wolverines lost beam specialist Lauren Farley to graduation, Maddie Mariani to medical retirement and most recently Carly Bauman to a ruptured Achilles, their stellar freshmen can surely patch those holes.

With that being said, let’s begin!

Rotation 1: Michigan VT, Central Michigan UB, Western Michigan FX

Here just ahead of the first rotation in warmups, we’ve seen a stuck 1.5 from Michigan’s Natalie Wojcik on vault and a stuck double layout on bars from Michigan’s Abby Brenner. UM is looking good!

Michigan is wearing this pretty leo today!

Abby Brenner (Michigan) VT: 1.5, lots of power, step forward. Good 10.0 start value for them!

Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) VT: Another 1.5, big step forward.

Savana Kotas (CMU) UB: Maloney, hand slides over the bar a bit on her next kip which results in a routine break. Rather low chest on the double tuck dismount, but glad that she ended strong!

Abby Heiskell (Michigan) VT: Another really clean 1.5!! Tiny hop on this one.

Sarah Moravansky (WMU) FX: Starts with a double pike, no issue on that. Double tuck, chest a little low, but sticks it! Front layout to front full, good landing. Solid routine!

Naomi Morrison (Michigan) VT: Yurchenko 1.5, small hop back. UM is really going for it with the 1.5s!

Sierra Brooks (Michigan) VT: Really floaty 1.5, hop forward, can definitely see that stuck in the near future!

Gabby Wilson (Michigan) VT: Six 1.5s! Holy cow! Wilson squeezes into the landing but still has a hop.

Dani Petrousek (WMU) FX: I only saw the ending to this one but she does a double pike and gets the landing. Coach steps onto the floor for precaution (this is no deduction since this is a preseason meet.)

Reyna Guggino (Michigan) VT: SEVEN 1.5s! I didn’t think it could get any better!

Hannah Demers (CMU) UB: Bail to straddle up, looking good so far. Stuck full in dismount with the chest a little low. Great anchor routine!

Jenna Mulligan (Michigan) VT: Clean FTY, stuck! This is a fantastic backup vault for the Wolverines.

Donna Kathryn Roy (WMU) FX: Really good full-in to open. Love that difficulty for WMU. Middle pass is a front layout to front full, little hop on the landing. Double pike to end the routine, good landing. That opening E pass and double pike ending pass will surely boost her start value!

Payton Murphy (WMU) FX: Front tuck full to double tuck for her first pass. Really unique first pass. Rudi to huge straddle jump for her combination pass. I really like this choreography! Double pike, coach steps in for this one again but doesn’t spot. Her knees buckle on the landing but saves it.

Abby Singh (WMU) FX: Exhibition routine for her. Has lots of power on the first pass and almost goes OOB but saves it. Probs just some freshman excitement. This sounds like a variation of Alyssa Baumann’s 2018 mix? Hmmm. Coach steps in for double tuck but doesn’t touch, lots of power again, pops out of the landing and puts her hands down.

Josie Thomas (WMU) FX: Another WMU floor exhibition here. Double pike to open, no problems on that. Front layout to front full, kinda odd twisting technique but pulls it around. 7 Rings part in her floor music! I see you! RO whip to 1.5 twist to end the routine. Put her in the lineup!

AFTER ONE: Michigan 49.350, Central Michigan 48.550, Western Michigan 48.225

I am pleasantly surprised with each of the teams so far! Michigan put up seven 1.5s and a lovely FTY on vault with no falls (talk about depth!) Really nice to see them still reaching for more after their national championship win from last year. CMU had some good bars routines with some slight inconsistencies but that should improve a little before season officially starts and then a lot after season starts. WMU had lots of unique tumbling, especially from Payton Murphy the anchor gymnast, and showed some good exhibition routines. Onto the next rotation!

Rotation 2: Michigan UB, Central Michigan BB, Western Michigan VT

Abby Heiskell (Michigan) UB: Blind full to straddled jaeger, looking good so far. GORGEOUS Pak down to the low bar. Hits that last handstand before her STUCK blind full to double tuck dismount. OMG could that be a 10? #GraceGlennVibes

Katie Kowalski (CMU) BB: I didn’t get to see the whole routine but I did spot the dismount which was a unique handstand to full twist.

Dani Petrousek (WMU) VT: FTY, step back.

Abby Brenner (Michigan) UB: Jaeger to overshoot for her combination. Double layout, stuck! These are some solid opening routines for the Wolverines.

Donna Kathryn Roy (WMU) VT: FTY, big hop on the landing.

Naomi Morrison (Michigan) UB: Gienger, kinda scared me cause I didn’t expect it!! Bail was right to handstand with the weight more so on her right hand (just a picky thing I found.) Double layout dismount.

Gabby Wilson (Michigan) UB: Her usual piked jaeger, great like usual. You can see how she maintains patience on her skills. Stuck double layout dismount.

Sierra Brooks (Michigan) UB: Just SLIGHTLY over on her first two handstands but hangs on. Doesn’t quite hit the last handstand, I’m guessing to prevent her possibly going over again. But hey, that just means she is trying to get that 10.0! Full twisting double layout dismount.

Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) UB: That is the highest Deltchev I have ever seen! Incredible! Hits the last handstand before absolutely crushing her double layout dismount. That one has 10.0 material too!

Jacey Vore (Michigan) UB: Her UM debut! A bit conservative on the bail handstand and for that matter the rest of them too. Double layout, stuck. She looks so happy! Good for her!

Ashley Veglucci (CMU) BB: Side somi, holds on despite a balance check. RO double twist, step back. She is pumped about that.

Sierra DeMarinis (CMU) BB: Front aerial to beat jump, slightly bent leg on that front aerial. BHS LOSO, some more leg form on that to clean up. Cat leap to switch side, doesn’t quite hit the 180 degree split requirement. RO 1.5 dismount, diagonal step back. I won’t lie: I’m a bit puzzled as to why that is the anchor routine?

Brenna Hauser (CMU) BB: Exhibition routine here. I like how she is smiling in her dance. Excellent beat jump to sheep jump. Falls on the BHS LOSO and once more on the front toss. Piked gainer dismount with a step. This will be a beautiful routine when she hits.

AFTER TWO: Michigan 98.925, Central Michigan 97.125, Western Michigan 97.050

No Morgan Tong on beam? Smh. Michigan had some more stellar routines, this time on bars. I was really happy to see former five-star recruit Jacey Vore compete in an exhibition on bars as well as Natalie Wojcik’s GINORMOUS Deltchev. Seriously guys, if that clip ever gets to YouTube, you have to see it; it was insane. I didn’t see a whole lot from WMU since their vaults went really quick, but I’m hoping to see more of them next rotation. Lastly, like I mentioned above, no Morgan Tong on beam? Former four-star recruit Quinn Skrupa made lineup, just not the feed so I missed her, but no Tong? Ugh.

Rotation 3: Michigan BB, Central Michigan FX, Western Michigan UB

Naomi Morrison (Michigan) BB: Love this choice for a leadoff! BHS LOSO, no wobbles. Cat leap to switch side, balance check on that. Piked gainer with lots of height but reeeeeally close to the edge of the beam!! Watch out girl!

Abby Heiskell (Michigan) BB: Side aerial, huge arm swing, and a fall! GASP! She follows it up with a BHS LOSO and her leap pass, but you can see the concern in her face. RO 1.5 with a hop forward on the dismount.

Dani Petrousek (WMU) UB: Maloney. Toe on to bail, right to handstand. Blind full to double pike, chest low on the landing with a step forward. (I wonder if that would change if they switched it to a double tuck instead?)

Gabby Wilson (Michigan) BB: Random hitch kick? LOL. BHS LOSO, loads of amplitude on the LOSO. Split jump to straddle 3/4, solid. Double tuck dismount, step back, but really good routine for Gabby! Oh no, I see Carly Bauman. She looks supportive of her teammates, but I wish she could compete. 🙁

Sierra Brooks (Michigan) BB: BHS LOSO LOSO, little arm adjustment on the landing, but nothing major. Switch leap to switch leap for her leaps, would be cool if she added a jump to that. RO double tuck, hop back. She doesn’t look satisfied with that.

Reyna Guggino (Michigan) BB: She looks calm and ready to attack. BHS LOSO, very clean. Cat leap to side somi, balance check on that. BHS to 1.5 dismount.

Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) FX: Front aerial to beat jump to begin. I think she might have grown (or maybe I’m just crazy) because she looks taller than usual up there. BHS LOSO LOSO for her acro series. RO 1.5, stuck landing. She is a star.

Sierra DeMarinis (CMU) FX: RO 1.5 to front layout for her middle pass. Double pike to end, really striving for that one tenth bonus since she is ending with a D-valued element.

Jacey Vore (Michigan) BB: BHS LOSO, hits it. Switch leap to straddle quarter, isn’t quite extending her skills like I imagine she usually does. RO 1.5, little step back. The confidence will come. This is just the first meet. 🙂

Avah Anthes (CMU) FX: I only catch the middle pass but manage to see a RO 1.5 to crunchy front tuck, most likely a save. Double tuck has great distance, but low chest on the landing.

Abby Brenner (Michigan) BB: BHS LOSO, snaps those arms down. Cat leap to switch side, no problem there. Another cat leap, this time to a front toss. I believe this is an exhibition routine, and she is rocking it! RO 1.5, dismount, step on the landing.

AFTER THREE: Michigan 148.150, Central Michigan 145.775, Western Michigan 144.625

WMU’s Instagram story showed Margo Van Linden’s first routine as a Bronco but THE BROADCAST DIDN’T SHOW IT UGHHHHH. Read more about the Belgian freshman in a CGN done by recruiting senior editor Talitha Ilacqua here. In regards to missing gymnasts, I’m wondering where Michigan’s Abigael Vides and Nicoletta Koulos are, where CMU’s Lia Kmieciak and Morgan Tong are, and where WMU’s Gigi Singh are. Hopefully we will see them in the last rotation here.

Rotation 4: Michigan FX, Central Michigan VT, Western Michigan BB

Abby Heiskell (Michigan) FX: Double arabian, really over-rotated the landing and takes a huge lunge out of it. Comes back strong with her connection pass. Double pike for the end, good routine other than the double arabian. Koulos is wearing a leo and a jacket!!! PLEASE LORD.

Avah Anthes (CMU) VT: FHS front pike, big step out of it, love the variety!

Reyna Guggino (Michigan) FX: This is some crazy choreo! Double pike for her, lovely. Front layout to front full, connects the dance right out of it. FHS Rudi to finish.

Sierra DeMarinis (CMU) VT: FTY, hop back.

Abby Brenner (Michigan) FX: I Love Rock N’ Roll music! Cool! Full-in for her mount and RO 1.5 to front layout for her middle pass. Double pike, perfect landing. Love that ending choreo!

Hannah Demers (CMU) VT: FTY, little hop.

Kara Kowalski (CMU) VT: FTY, almost stuck, takes a step on the landing.

Naomi Morrison (Michigan) FX: half in, half out for her first pass, good landing. Front layout to front full, has a Kytra Hunter-esque front twisting style where she looks past her shoulder until her feet hit the ground on the twist. Last pass is a double tuck, looks easy for her.

Sierra Brooks (Michigan) FX: Full-in opening pass, pretty good. Front through to double tuck, little bounce back on that, but not out of control. Bella Poarch floor music for a sec here. Double pike, odd punch out of the BHS, and she crunches her ankles while falling to her knees. She did all-around today so I’d say it is fatigue. Head coach Bev Plocki also looks like she has a brace around her wrist.

Gabby Wilson (Michigan) FX: First pass is an open double tuck, looking good. FHS front layout to front full, really floaty. Kip-up in her choreo! Love it! Double tuck, clean landing. Very nice routine!

Rylee Gallmeyer (WMU) BB: Front aerial, small adjustment on that. BHS LOSO, balance check, and the feed pans away. Womp womp.

Jenna Mulligan (Michigan) FX: Front tuck through to double tuck and a slide back. Looks like she almost surprised herself on the landing there. Double pike ending pass, I love her and her vibe! I will say that I GREATLY appreciate Michigan’s first steps in leaving the all-techno floor music haze that they have been stuck in for the last seven to eight years. Heiskell and Mulligan seem to be leading in that next step tonight and I am totally on board.

Final: Michigan 197.250, Central Michigan 194.350, Western Michigan 193.075

VT: Abby Heiskell (Michigan) 9.925
UB: Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) 9.950
BB: Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) 9.975
FX: Naomi Morrison (Michigan), Gabby Wilson (Michigan) 9.900
AA: Gabby Wilson (Michigan) 39.575

This was overall a learning meet for all teams. There were some highs and lows, but this will give some valuable competitive experience to the freshman before January as well as some more things for the gymnasts to improve upon. Michigan was stellar today and showed that they are back and ready to defend their national championship. CMU showed a variety of gymnasts but I wished they would have competed their traditionally higher-ranked recruits more often. WMU proved that they are not to be forgotten in the MAC conference with their star gymnast Payton Murphy leading the way as well as solid contributor Dani Petrousek.

Each team will start their season debuts in January with WMU facing Ball State on the 16th, Michigan vs Georgia on the 7th, and CMU vs Illinois on the 7th.

Well folks, thanks for tuning in for my first live blog here at CGN, I look forward to covering many more in both the Big Ten and MAC conferences as well as any other ones that come my way. So long my friends, farewell, goodbye!

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