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MAC gymnastics meet preview

MAC+gymnastics+meet+preview
Jack Rintamaa

As the 2023-24 gymnastics regular season comes to a close, Bowling Green prepares for their last team meet of the year, the Mid-American Conference Championships. Hosted by the conference leader, Ball State, the Falcons will compete for a top spot in the final standings and vie for individual/team qualifying scores for the NCAA Regionals.  

Achieving all-around

Looking back over 12 meets, the Falcons were well represented by two gymnasts, junior Kathryn Weilbacher and freshman Love Akpan. Over the course of the season, the pair scored an average of 38.690 in all four events.  

By the middle of the season, Weilbacher had logged the third and tied for the fourth (Jovannah East and Alyssa Nocella) highest all-around score in program history with a 39.500. 

Akpan, jumping in later, still has time to make big waves for BG. As a freshman, Love has earned eight top-three finishes and has a career-high of 38.725 in the all-around.  

This powerful pair of gymnasts are also among the top ten gymnasts in the Mid-American Conference, Weilbacher currently ranked eighth and Akpan ranked tenth.  

Rivelli flying high 

Another great season performance was by sophomore Isabella Rivelli on the bars, notching ten top-three finishes in her career thus far, placing first in five events in the course of two seasons. While competing only on the bars this season, Rivelli had a season average of a 9.73 score each week.  

Rivelli also logged 6+ scores of 9.800 or higher in the span of twelve meets. Making strides for the Falcons, Rivelli also tied for the fourth-highest bars score in program history, a 9.925 versus Western Michigan this season.  

2024: The year of Cardinals and Golden Flashes 

In a big conference shift from last season, Ball State has risen from fifth place in the MAC to this year, leading the conference with a 5-1 record and being ranked 21st in the nation. According to Road To Nationals, in the MAC event rankings for individuals from last week, there is at least one Ball State gymnast in the top five for each event.  

Another big competitor is the other co-champion of the MAC regular season, the Kent State Golden Flashes, sharing the same conference record as Ball State. During the season’s final scheduled meet versus Bowling Green, Kent State logged their third 197.000+ team score of the season with a 197.100.  

In fact, when the Mid-American Conference announced their first and second all-team members, these two programs led the way with six Ball State gymnasts and three Kent State gymnasts making the list.  

Season in review 

This season, the Falcons logged their highest team score versus LIU, with 195.925 points. In addition, they were able to make program history this season; Bowling Green later notched their best team performance on the vault versus Pitt with a 49.250 score.  

Throughout the season, head coach Kerrie Turner has sported an unrelentingly optimistic outlook on the team’s performance. 

“The confidence in their routines has grown,” Turner remarked last week after facing No. 26 Kent State, “We are in a good place going into MACs next weekend.” 

The Falcons take the floor for the 2024 MAC Tournament on Saturday, March 23rd beginning at 2 p.m. in Worthen Arena, home of Ball State.  

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

 

 

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