Jan. 12, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #1 Michigan 196.900, Nebraska 196.300
Records: U-M (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten), Nebraska (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 19 -- vs. Illinois (Crisler Center), 4 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Behind two event winners and an all-around win from junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland), the No. 1-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team put up its highest regular-season score since 2008, dispatching defending Big Ten champion Nebraska, 196.900-196.300, on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 12) inside Crisler Center.
Sampson won the all-around for the second consecutive week (39.400). She shared the floor exercise title with Nebraska's Emily Wong (9.925). The Wolverines' other event winners came on uneven bars, with senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) and sophomore Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) sharing top honors (9.900).
The Wolverines jumped out to a lead after the first rotation and never looked back, scoring a 49.000 on vault to open the meet. All five counted scores were at 9.775 or above, including Sugiyama, who led the team with a score of 9.825. A trio of gymnasts posted 9.800 scores, including Sampson, Zurales and junior Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley). The fifth score came from junior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High), who was inserted into the fourth spot in warm-ups. She scored 9.775.
Michigan opened up its lead with a 49.350 on uneven bars, a score that surpassed last season's best by more than two tenths. Following Sugiyama and Zurales, who tied for the event win, was junior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) at 9.875 (which ties her previous career best), senior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) at 9.850 and Sampson at 9.825. The Wolverines led Nebraska, 98.350-97.900, at the halfway point.
The Wolverines overcame a fall from Sugiyama in the second spot on beam, but the four gymnasts that followed performed clean routines that ended in stuck landings. Gies was in the third position and scored 9.825, followed by Martinez (9.875), Sampson (9.850) and Zurales (9.900). Sophomore Annette Miele (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) led the rotation off, contributing a score of 9.725, putting Michigan at 49.175 for the event.
Michigan dazzled the crowd with a team score of 49.375 on floor exercise to close the meet. Senior Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch) kicked the rotation off with a score of 9.900, and Sampson anchored with a score of 9.925. In between the two were four scores of 9.800 or higher, including Colbert (9.850), Zakharia (9.825), Sugiyama (9.875) and Gies, who received a career-best 9.800 after being put into the lineup during warm-ups.
U-M is back in action next Saturday (Jan. 19) when it squares off with Illinois inside Crisler Center. The meet will begin at 4 p.m. and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Lisa Byington and former Michigan gymnast Kylee (Botterman) Kolarik will be on the call.
Vault Stephanie Colbert 9.800 (t3) Briley Casanova 9.725 Katie Zurales 9.800 (t3) Reema Zakharia 9.775 Joanna Sampson 9.800 (t3) Sachi Sugiyama 9.825 (2) Uneven Bars Katie Zurales 9.900 (t1) Lindsay Williams 9.725 Shelby Gies 9.875 (t3) Sachi Sugiyama 9.900 (t1) Brittnee Martinez 9.850 (5) Joanna Sampson 9.825 Balance Beam Annette Miele 9.725 Sachi Sugiyama 9.050 Shelby Gies 9.825 Brittnee Martinez 9.875 (4) Joanna Sampson 9.850 (t5) Katie Zurales 9.900 (t2) Floor Exercise Natalie Beilstein 9.900 (3) Stephanie Colbert 9.850 Shelby Gies 9.800 Reema Zakharia 9.825 Sachi Sugiyama 9.875 (t4) Joanna Sampson 9.925 (t1) All-Around Joanna Sampson 39.400 (1) Sachi Sugiyama 38.650
N O T E S
Michigan improves to 18-17-1 all-time against Nebraska. The two teams have met in every season since 2003, with Michigan now holding a 6-4-1 edge in those contests. The next time the two teams will face each other will be at the Big Ten Championships (March 23 in East Lansing, Mich.).
The Wolverines are now 23-1 in home openers under head coach Bev Plocki. She now has 590 career wins.
The last time Michigan posted a score of 196.900 or higher during the regular season was March 7, 2008, vs. Georgia (197.600).
Michigan was last ranked No. 1 in the country back in 2000 (March 7-28). The Wolverines achieved the No. 1 ranking this week based on their score of 196.575 at the Cancun Classic last Friday (Jan. 4), tying Florida for highest score in the nation through the first week. The new GymInfo/Troester rankings will be released Monday morning (Jan. 14).
The Wolverines scored at or above 49.000 on all four apparatuses.
Joanna Sampson won her sixth career all-around title.
Announced attendance for Saturday's meet was 3,372, making it the Wolverines' biggest crowd since March 12, 2010, vs. Georgia (5,042).
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423