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Gymnasts pick up conference victory over Broncos

The BG gymnastics team opened their home schedule on Saturday night with a slim 189.300-189.075 victory over Western Michigan. With the win the Falcons have improved to 1-1 in the Mid American Conference, and 2-1 overall in the young 2007 season.

There were several key performers for the Falcons in their victory. One was junior Jholeen Ponce, who set a career high with a 9.825 score on the balance beam.

“I was really pleased with the way I performed on the beam. I hadn’t done that event in a while, so I was a little nervous, but I did better than I expected,” Ponce said.

Along with her outstanding performance on the bars, Ponce finished third on vault and fifth on the bars with scores of 9.750 and 9.325 respectively.

As a team, the Falcons had their best overall score on the vault, recording a 48.450. Junior Jacque Bernhardt led the way in this event with a score of 9.8. The team has made a point to work hard on the event.

“I just tried to do my best on the vault, and it went very well,” Bernhardt stated. “Everybody did so well on the vault, which was really exciting. We had been working hard at it for a while, so it was good to have our hard work pay off.”

Ponce, Morgan Balzer, Jenna Wirtanen, Amber Brewer and Ashlee deLeeuew were the other Falcons who placed.

The Falcons also performed well on the floor. Although the lineup consisted of four freshmen, they performed like seasoned veterans. Amber Brewer lead the Falcons with a score of 9.75. Fellow Freshman Morgan Balzer and Senior Co-Captain Allison Swafford executed solid routines, posting scores of 9.6 and 9.675 respectively.

Although it is still early in the season, many of the team members seem very optimistic about the remainder of the season.

“Even though we won this week, there is still room for improvement. That is a good sign, because as a team, you always want to stay hungry for success,” said senior captain Karly Yohe.

The victory has BG brimming with confidence.

“I feel like this is our best chance to win the conference in my four years here,” said senior Jillian Stranges. “You say that every year, but with the way we have been performing in meets and in practice, you can’t help but feel good about our chances.”

The Falcons travel to Northern Illinois to take on the Huskies in a MAC meet next Sunday.

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