MAC Championship


Full Results Eastern Michigan: 195.900 Northern Illinois: 195.525 Kent State: 195.475 Central Michigan 194.900
Ball State: 194.800 Bowling Green: 194.600 Western Michigan: 194.600
VT: Kofmehl, Nychyk, Parris 9.850 UB: DeMers, Hamp 9.900 BB: Tong 9.900 FX: Fletcher 9.925 AA: Moravansky 39.250

The Big Storyline: This. Meet. Was. So. Close! It lived up to every expectation of being a nail-biter to the end, with Eastern Michigan emerging as the somewhat-surprise champion. The Eagles had a great day, coming in just shy of their season high but still doing extremely well across all four events. Ironically, the only event that they struggled on was beam, which is typically their best. Central Michigan was heavily favored going in, especially given recent performances, but got off to a slow start on vault and never managed to make up any ground. Beam was particularly rough for the Chippewas, where they were forced to count a fall. Northern Illinois found itself in a familiar position from its last MAC championship—finishing on beam with the championship within reach. This time the hill was a bit too steep to climb, though, and the Huskies finished their day in second place. Bowling Green was the biggest surprise of the day, recording a big season high and keeping pace with its conference counterparts all the way through the end—a huge feat for a team that began its season without full lineups. Kent State got off to a great start on floor, but the following rotations were all a bit underwhelming. Ball State and Western Michigan, unfortunately, just had off days; however, Bronco freshman Sarah Moravansky had an excellent performance in the all around and took the individual title. 

Postseason Implications: Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Western Michigan all locked in regionals positions; unfortunately, Ball State fell just below the cutoff after the rest of the day’s meets concluded. 

Records: This was the closest meet in MAC history; there was only a 1.300-point difference between first and seventh place. Molly Parris was Eastern Michigan’s first vault champion since 1988.

Controversies: Kent State had not one but two floor score adjustments; not necessarily controversial, but anytime that happens it can be cause for some confusion, especially since it was the first event of the day.

Conference Awards

  • Gymnast of the Year: Payton Murphy (Western Michigan)
  • Event Specialist of the Year: Caitlin Satler (Eastern Michigan), Natalie Hamp (NIU)
  • Newcomer of the Year: Sarah Moravansky (Western Michigan)
  • Coach of the Year: Joanna Saleem (Ball State)


  • No. 25 Central Michigan | 196.275 NQS | 196.425 season high
  • No. 28 Kent State | 195.981 NQS | 196.375 season high
  • No. 29 Eastern Michigan | 195.925 NQS | 196.100 season high
  • No. 33 Western Michigan | 195.769 NQS | 196.050 season high
  • No. 34 Ball State | 195.725 NQS | 195.975 season high
  • No. 45 Northern Illinois | 195.044 NQS | 195.500 season high
  • No. 50 Bowling Green | 193.813 NQS | 194.300 season high

If you can only watch one meet, here’s why it should be this one… It probably seems like we’re being redundant at this point, but if you aren’t paying attention to the MAC, you absolutely should be. It is one of the most closely matched and competitive conferences in the NCAA—the top four teams are currently separated by mere hundredths or tenths of a point, so this meet will almost certainly come down to who manages to have the best performance on the day. In addition to that, there are currently five teams in regionals contention—which would be considered a big accomplishment for most—and regardless of who is the victor, the teams will all be gunning for a usable NQS score.

If this is one of many meets you’ll be watching, don’t miss this… Each team has different strengths, so be sure to watch those particular events: Central Michigan can get off to an early lead on vault, Ball State is currently tied with Kent State for first place in the conference on bars, Eastern Michigan is not to be missed on beam and Kent State has some impressive difficulty on floor. Western Michigan has struggled on bars this season, so that will likely be the make-or-break event for the Broncos—if they can get through that event with a strong score, they will be in a good position to fight for the title. Likewise, beam has been where the Chippewas have struggled the most, so that will be a big focus for that team. 

What’s the bigger picture to keep an eye on? There are currently five teams in regionals contention, so in addition to walking away as the conference champion, the big goal will be to get a good score to either boost or solidify a regionals bid. Especially noteworthy: it would be Western Michigan’s first regionals appearance ever if it qualifies. 

By the Numbers

Past Champions

  • Central Michigan: 16 titles, last won in 2018
  • Kent State: 12 titles, last won in 2015
  • Western Michigan: 4 titles, last won in 2013*
  • Eastern Michigan: 3 titles, last won in 2017
  • Bowling Green: 3 titles, last won in 1985
  • Northern Illinois: 1 title, last won in 2019
  • Ball State: 1 title, last won in 2002

*co-champion with Central Michigan

Records Watch

  • Team: 197.525 (Central Michigan, 2004)
  • Vault: 49.450 (Central Michigan, 2004)
  • Bars: 49.550 (Central Michigan, 2003)
  • Beam: 49.475 (Central Michigan, 2018)
  • Floor: 49.575 (Central Michigan, 2003)

Last Time Out

Northern Illinois was the surprise champion when the meet was last held in 2019, claiming the title for the first time in program history. Central Michigan had the lead going into the final rotation, having just inched past Eastern Michigan, when it went on a bye; then Northern Illinois finished its night on beam, ending with a particularly clutch performance from Mia Lord to clinch the title and a new event program record. 

*Special thanks to Drew Porche for all of the Records Watch data provided in this preview

The event is finished.


Mar 20 2021


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