BG hosts MAC Championships

Everything the gymnasts have worked for comes down to one weekend and that is this weekend for the Falcons. Bowling Green will host the Mid-American Conference Championships tomorrow in Anderson Arena starting at 2 p.m. The Falcons will look to avenge Ball State, who is the defending MAC champions, but their expectations aren’t as high as they have been in the past.

“In the regular season we placed fifth, so I don’t have any real expectations,” head coach Dan Connelly said. “I’m just hoping that we’re able to hit as many routines as we possibly can and do our best.”

Last weekend the Falcons excelled in their floor exercise and vault routines, had a mediocre performance on the uneven bars, but struggled with the balance beam.

Tomorrow they are looking to overcome their struggles on the beam and increase their performance on the bars.

However, that might not be as easy as it sounds.

“We’ve had a very difficult season, plagued with injuries all year long,” Connelly said. “We’re just happy to be able to put a team on the floor at this point.”

Some of the team’s injuries include: two torn ACLs, a torn lateral meniscus (left knee), back injuries, a stress fracture in the back, a stress fracture in the shin, ankle problems, shoulder problems and one returned from ACL torn last year and has not completely recovered from that.

“It would be a real stretch to say that we were healthy,” Connelly said. “We’re still injured, but this is a very, very tough team. We’re working through the injuries.”

Despite all of their injuries the Falcons still have some contenders for top spots in the MAC.

“Our standouts are usually Jessica Guyer on floor and vaulting along with Kathy Emerson on vaulting and Kathy on beam, and Kari Elste on uneven bars,” Connelly said.

Guyer ranks third in the MAC on the floor exercise with a 9.950 and is tied for 11th in the MAC with a 9.825 vault score, which is also good enough to put her at the top BG mark on the vault.

Ann Marie Kassouf is also tied with Guyer on the list with the same score of 9.825. She ranks third in Falcon history and eighth in the MAC in the all-around with a score of 39.125.

Emerson has recorded a 9.875 or better three consecutive weeks on beam. She currently ranks second all-time in Falcons history on the beam with a score of 9.900. That score also puts her fourth in the MAC.

Elste leads the Falcons on the uneven bars with a 9.850 and owns three of the top seven bars performances for the Falcons this season.

Coming into the MAC tournament he top team scores in the league for 2003 are: Kent State 196.450, Central Michigan 196.325, Eastern Michigan 194.875, Northern Illinois 194.875, Western Michigan 194.325, Bowling Green 194.275 and Ball State 192.975.