Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
ST. LOUIS – Central Michigan’s Denelle Pedrick recorded a 9.6125 score on Friday on the floor exercise at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships at Chaifetz Arena.
It brought an end to the season for the sophomore from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, who made CMU gymnastics history by becoming the first Chippewa to qualify twice for the NCAA Championships. She competed last year on vault at the nationals.
Pedrick won the floor exercise two weeks ago at the Tuscaloosa Regional with a 9.900.
Pedrick’s 9.6125 was a disappointment, longtime CMU coach Jerry Reighard said, but in the grand scheme of things a return trip to the nationals will only benefit both Pedrick and the Chippewa program in the long run.
“It’s an invaluable experience to be here and just watch what’s going on,” Reighard said. “It’s an incredible learning experience and Denelle will continue to grow from it.”
Pedrick was one of just two gymnasts from Mid-American Conference schools to compete at the nationals.
It marked the end of an outstanding season for the Chippewas, beginning with the 196.375 – the third-highest score in program history – that they posted in the season-opening meet, to March, when they won both the Mid-American Conference regular-season title and placed first at the MAC Championships.
It marked the first time CMU won the MAC Championships since 2015, and it was its first regular-season league title since 2014. It was the first time since 2012 that the Chippewas have captured both crowns in the same season.
CMU also qualified for the NCAA Regionals for the 10th consecutive season.
“We’re really, really pleased with the entire season,” Reighard said. “We had a reasonably good showing at regionals and we’re here at the national championships and there’s a lot of people who are sitting at home watching on TV who would like to be right where we are.”