Sampson, Sheppard Lead U-M to Quad-Meet Victory
Austin Sheppard

Jan. 17, 2014

Complete Results |  Quotes |  Notes

Site: Raleigh, N.C. (Reynolds Coliseum)
Score: 1st Place of 4 Teams (196.800)
Records: U-M (5-0), North Carolina State (2-2), North Carolina (2-2), Towson (0-4)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 25 -- vs. Ohio State (Crisler Center), 4 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Senior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) won the all-around (39.625) and had individual event wins on uneven bars (9.925) and floor exercise (9.950), while sophomore Austin Sheppard (Murphy, Texas/Plano East) won vault (9.925) to lead the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team to a quad meet victory on Friday (Jan. 17) inside Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolverines scored 196.800, ahead of North Carolina State (195.650), North Carolina (192.450) and Towson (191.325).

Like last Friday's opener at Iowa State (Jan. 10), Michigan started the meet on uneven bars. All six gymnasts in the lineup had scores above 9.800, but it was Sampson who shined, putting up a 9.925 routine to lead the way. She changed her release move from last week, electing to go with the familiar Tkatchev, which she stuck, along with the double layout dismount. Junior Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) and freshman Nicole Artz (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) each recorded 9.850 scores to start the rotation, with the highlights being the stuck landings by both gymnasts -- a full-twisting double layout from Sugiyama and a double layout with both huge height and distance from Artz. The Wolverines totaled 49.275 to start the meet.

The Wolverines faced some adversity on balance beam. After Artz led off the second week in a row with a solid, confident routine (9.850), junior Annette Miele (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) was unable to perform her full dismount, scoring a 9.550. Freshman Talia Chiarelli (Boston, Mass./Lexington) got things back on track a 9.850, capped with a stuck round off double tuck dismount. Senior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) performed a 9.800 routine with a clean one-arm back handspring layout. Sampson went up in the anchor spot needing to hit and did, scoring 9.875, tying her career high. At the halfway point, Michigan led the quad with a 98.200 score, but North Carolina State was on its heels (97.675).

Sugiyama led off the floor exercise rotation, hitting all three tumbling passes to score a 9.875. A few tenths were taken off Chiarelli"s and Artz's performances due to steps out of bounds, but the rest of the rotation rallied the team, specifically the last two competitors in Zakharia and Sampson. Zakharia responded nicely from a fall on balance beam to score a 9.900, while Sampson electrified the entire arena to the tune of a 9.950 score in the anchor spot. North Carolina State closed the gap thanks to a 49.350 rotation on balance beam, but U-M still led heading into the fourth and final event, 147.475-147.025.

Michigan ended strong on vault, scoring 49.325 as a team with no routine below 9.825. Sugiyama and Sampson each recorded 9.875s -- Sugiyama with her Yurchenko 1.5 and Sampson with her Yurchenko full -- while Sheppard grabbed a 9.925. She had a step on the landing, but got the big score thanks to her traditional height and distance off the table. North Carolina State only got 48.625 on floor exercise, giving Michigan the quad-meet victory.

After two competitions on the road to start the season, Michigan returns to action next Saturday (Jan. 25) for its home opener, welcoming rival Ohio State to Crisler Center. The meet will begin at 4 p.m. [ Tickets ]

Team StandingsVaultBarsBeamFloorTotal
North Carolina State48.85048.82549.35048.625195.650
North Carolina48.57547.25047.82548.800192.450

Event Winners/U-M Finishers

Talia Chiarelli                    9.825 (t5)
Reema Zakharia                     9.825 (t5)
Sachi Sugiyama                     9.875 (t2)
Natalie Beilstein                  9.825 (t5)
Joanna Sampson                     9.875 (t2)
Austin Sheppard                    9.925 (1)
Uneven Bars
Sachi Sugiyama                     9.850 (t2)
Nicole Artz                        9.850 (t2)
Shelby Gies                        9.825 (t4)
Austin Sheppard                    9.825 (t4)
Joanna Sampson                     9.925 (1)
Natalie Beilstein                  9.800
Balance Beam
Nicole Artz                        9.850 (t5)
Annette Miele                      9.550
Talia Chiarelli                    9.850 (t5)
Shelby Gies                        9.800
Reema Zakharia                     9.400
Joanna Sampson                     9.875 (t2)
Floor Exercise
Sachi Sugiyama                     9.875 (3)
Talia Chiarelli                    9.725
Natalie Beilstein                  9.825
Nicole Artz                        9.650
Reema Zakharia                     9.900 (2)
Joanna Sampson                     9.950 (1)
Joanna Sampson                     39.625 (1)

Contact: Brad Rudner (

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