Ball State Gymnastics had spent the better part of the first month of the season on the road, traveling to Iowa and Pittsburgh for its first two meets. On Sunday, the team was able to take the floor at the friendly confines of Worthen Arena and come out with a win, taking first place with a score of 194.200.
“I was really excited to be at home,” junior Arden Hudson said. “It’s just different. The energy is different, the fans are different, it’s just so much fun.”
The win over three other teams, Wisconsin La Crosse, Southeast Missouri and Bowling Green, was the second consecutive first-place finish for the team after defeating Pittsburgh earlier this month. Ball State has yet to finish worse than second in the still early season.
The Cardinals jumped out to a quick start, taking the lead after their first event in vault, finishing with a score of 49.125. From there, Ball State was able to hold the lead through the next two events.
“I think we started off strong and finished strong,” head coach Joanna Saleem said. “In the middle two events, bars and beam, there were some bumps that I told the team we would have to work through.”
Though the lead shrank during the course of the middle two events, Ball State still held a slim lead going into the final event in floor. In that event, the Cardinals were able to distance themselves from the competition, as the top five Cardinals all posted scores of 9.800 or higher, pulling away from the closest competitor, Bowling Green, and winning with a score of 194.175.
Junior Claudia Goyco won floor individually with a score of 9.900 while Hudson was named MVP for Ball State at the event.
“It is great to have upperclassmen that you can count on to come in and perform,” Saleem said.
The next competition for the Cardinals is Feb. 2 when they travel to Colorado to take on Denver and Air Force.
Contact Matt Sharp with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @sharpmatthew66.