Ladies confident heading to MIC Championships
Friday, March 23, 2012

CHICAGO, Ill. – Centenary is peaking at the right time heading into Saturday’s Midwest Independent Conference Championships.

Despite going into the five-team meet ranked fifth, the Ladies recorded their top two scores of the year with a 193.200 March 10, and just missed that mark with a 192.825 showing last weekend in the home finale against No. 24 Kentucky. Centenary has no plans of slowing down and confidence isn’t an issue heading to Chicago.

“We’re definitely expecting to go in and compete at a high level,” first-year head coach Jackie Fain said. “I really feel like anyone could win this weekend since so many of the teams have seen the others so many times. We’ve competed against three of the four other teams and I think it’s going to be a really exciting competition.”

Meg Crowley and Ciara Maradiaga lead the Ladies to the meet as Crowley sits in sixth in conference standings with her 9.655 average on the floor exercise. Her season-high 9.875 is tied for third, behind Southeast Missouri’s Emma Garrett and Texas Women’s Spencer Jones, each at 9.900.

Maradiaga’s 9.588 average on the balance beam puts her in fifth in MIC standings, but her 9.825 season high is just half of a point behind the conference’s season high, set by three gymnasts.

The Ladies need only a 189 to qualify for the USAG Collegiate Nationals April 12-14 in Bridgeport, Conn., a mark they’ve bested in their last five meets. The last time Centenary fell below that plateau was Feb. 3 against No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 6 Nebraska and No. 16 Minnesota.

The University of Illinois-Chicago leads the conference with its 194.865 regional qualifying score (RQS), followed by Texas Women’s (193.990), Illinois State (193.920), Southeast Missouri (191.600) and Centenary (190.795).