Stypinski Wins All-Around Title at MAC Championships
Junior Rachel Stypinski won the all-around title with a 39.500 to lead Kent State at the 2017 Mid-American Conference Gymanstics Championships Saturday at the Stroh Center. Kent State posted a 194.850 team score to finish sixth.
Stypinski's all-around score ties the program record at the conference championship meet that was set by Marie Case in 2014 and ranks sixth overall. She also won the beam title and finished in a six-way tie for first on bars. Her third 9.950 of the season set a program MAC Championships record on beam. She also matched her career-high on bars with a 9.900.
The Boyertown, Pa. native earned MAC Championship All-Tournament Team honors for the second time of her career. She was the only competitor to earn a 10.000 score from a judge, doing so on beam, and was one of only two competitors to earn a 9.900 or higher on multiple events.
Following the meet, Stypinski was announced as the 2017 MAC Gymnast of the Year. Just the third repeat winner since the inaugural award was given in 1997, Stypinski had the conference's highest regular season RQS for all-around (39.065), floor (9.930) and beam (9.910). She entered the weekend ranked ninth in the country on floor and 11th on beam.
The Golden Flashes' beam lineup impressed with a 49.200, which is just 0.050 off the season-high set last week against Ball State, to edge out Western Michigan's 49.175 for the best score of the meet. Sophomore Kennedy Plude delivered her best routine as a collegiate and scored a career-high 9.900 to tie for third. Senior Milena Fabry nearly matched her career-high, tying for 13th with a 9.825. Junior Ali Marrero scored a 9.775 and senior Jordan Hardison earned a 9.750 to round out the scoring for the Flashes.
Kent State also had three gymnasts finish in the top-20 on bars. In addition to Stypinski tying for first, sophomore Dara Williams matched her career-high of 9.825 for the second straight meet and tied for 14th. Senior Skyelee Lamano tied for 20 with a 9.775.
On floor, Stypinski led the way with a 9.875 to tie for sixth. Hardison was right behind, tying for 10th with a 9.850. Freshman Jade Brown scored a 9.800 in her conference championship debut to finish 24th.
Stypinski and Williams both scored a 9.775 on vault and tied for 15th.
"We have two weeks to get healthy for regionals," head coach Brice Biggin said. "The nice thing is that we have another meet, and we know that. Unfortunately, meets like this the do happen. It's disappointing when it happens, but it happens to every team. We have to move on and really focus on doing a much better job at regionals and hope that we can make something special happen."
Kent State awaits to learn where it will compete at NCAA Regionals on Saturday, April 1. The NCAA Selection Show will air on NCAA.com at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 20.
Be sure to follow the Kent State gymnastics team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for news and updates about the squad.
2017 MAC Postseason Awards
Gymnast Of The Year: Rachel Stypinski, Kent State
Specialist Of The Year: Jamyra Carter, Northern Illinois
Senior Gymnast Of The Year: Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan
Freshman Of The Year: Jovannah East, Bowling Green
Coach Of The Year: Sam Morreale, Northern Illinois
2017 MAC Championship Results
1. Eastern Michigan 196.500
2. Bowling Green 196.400
3. Central Michigan 196.100
4. Western Michigan 196.075
5. Northern Illinois 195.725
6. Kent State 194.850
7. Ball State 194.750
2017 MAC Championship Event Winners
Vault: Anna Corbett (WMU) – 9.925
Bars: Rachel Stypinski (KSU), five others – 9.900
Beam: Rachel Stypinski (KSU) – 9.950
Floor: Kayla Rose (BG), Macey Hilliker (CMU) – 9.950
All-Around: Rachel Stypinski (KSU) – 39.500
2017 MAC Championship All-Tournament Team
Lauren Feely, Bowling Green
Jovannah East, Bowling Green
India McPeak, Bowling Green
Kayla Rose, Bowling Green
Kasey Janowicz, Central Michigan
Macey Hilliker, Central Michigan
Ciara Gresham, Eastern Michigan
Kendall Valentin, Eastern Michigan
Natalie Gervais, Eastern Michigan
Lacey Rubin, Eastern Michigan
Catie Conrad, Eastern Michigan
Rachel Stypinski, Kent State
Ashley Potts, Northern Illinois
Anna Corbett, Western Michigan
Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan
Rachael Underwood, Western Michigan