A Sampson Sweep: Wolverines Handle Iowa for Home Victory
Joanna Sampson

Feb. 2, 2013

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• Postmeet Video: Coach Plocki | Joanna Sampson

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Result: #3 Michigan 196.675, Iowa 195.200
Records: U-M (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten), Iowa (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten)
Attendance: 2,382
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 8 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) finished alone in first in all four events and scored a new personal best in the all-around (39.600) to lead the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team to a 196.675-195.200 victory over Iowa on Saturday (Feb. 2) at Crisler Center.

Senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) also had a strong meet, finishing second to Sampson in the all-around (39.400). Zurales finished in the top three in every event on Saturday, scoring 9.850 in all of them. She took second place on uneven bars and balance beam and third place on vault and floor exercise.

The Wolverines were in the lead from the very beginning of the meet, scoring a 49.275 on vault to occupy the first five spots on the podium, led by Sampson, who scored a 9.900. Following her performance was senior Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch) in second (9.875), senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) in third (9.850) and Texas natives Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) and Austin Sheppard (Dallas, Texas/Plano East) in a tie for fourth (9.825).

All six Michigan gymnasts up on uneven bars scored above 9.800, leading to a total of 49.225. Following Sampson's score of 9.900 was Zurales and Sugiyama, who both tied for second at 9.850. Other gymnasts to score well for Michigan included senior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty), who tied for fifth at 9.825, and sophomore Annette Miele (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) and junior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), who both tied for seventh (9.800). Halfway through the meet, Michigan led Iowa, 98.500-97.625.

Miele was up first on beam but scored only 9.125 after over-rotating on her dismount. The next five up all hit, scoring an even 49.000 and saving the Wolverines from having to count a fall. Sampson posted the highest score at 9.875, followed by Zurales in second (9.850) and Martinez in third (9.825). The two other scores that were counted came from Gies at 9.775 and junior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High) at 9.675.

The Wolverines put an exclamation point on the evening on floor exercise, scoring 49.175. Sampson was once again the star, performing a double layout during the first pass to post a big score of 9.925. Zurales took third (9.850), followed by Beilstein and Zakharia, who each tied for fourth (9.825). Sugiyama gave the team a score of 9.750, while junior Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), in her only event of the evening, scored 9.675.

Michigan has four of its final six regular-season meets on the road, beginning Friday (Feb. 8) at Ohio State. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.

Team StandingsVaultBarsBeamFloorTotal
Reema Zakharia              9.750
Katie Zurales               9.850 (3)
Natalie Beilstein           9.875 (2)
Joanna Sampson              9.900 (1)
Sachi Sugiyama              9.825 (t4)
Austin Sheppard             9.825 (t4)
Uneven Bars
Annette Miele               9.800
Katie Zurales               9.850 (t2)
Shelby Gies                 9.800
Sachi Sugiyama              9.850 (t2)
Brittnee Martinez           9.825 (t5)
Joanna Sampson              9.900 (1)
Balance Beam
Annette Miele               9.125
Reema Zakharia              9.675
Shelby Gies                 9.775 (5)
Brittnee Martinez           9.825 (3)
Joanna Sampson              9.875 (1)
Katie Zurales               9.850 (2)
Floor Exercise
Natalie Beilstein           9.825 (t4)
Stephanie Colbert           9.675
Katie Zurales               9.850 (3)
Reema Zakharia              9.825 (t4)
Sachi Sugiyama              9.750
Joanna Sampson              9.925 (1)
Joanna Sampson             39.600 (1)
Katie Zurales              39.400 (2)


• Michigan is 43-7 all-time against Iowa. It was the two teams' 50th all-time meeting (16th in a dual meet).

• The Wolverines have won 14 straight home meets against Big Ten opponents. Their last loss came on Feb. 16, 2007, to Penn State (195.900-195.525).

• This is the fourth straight meet in which Michigan has scored above 49.000 on all four apparatuses. For the season, U-M has only scored below 49.000 during one rotation all season (48.975 on vault at the Cancun Classic on Jan. 4).

Joanna Sampson is the third gymnast since 2004 to post an all-around score of 39.600 or better. The others were Kylee Botterman (39.675 vs. Illinois in 2010; 39.625 at Michigan Tri in 2011) and Sarah Curtis (39.600 vs. Georgia in 2008). Her previous career-high score in the all-around was 39.550, set two weeks ago vs. Illinois (Jan. 19, 2013).

Reema Zakharia was in the lineup on three events for the second time in her career. She also competed on three events at the Masters Classic on Feb. 11, 2012.

Briley Casanova exhibitioned on vault, balance beam and floor exercise.

Annette Miele returned to the lineup on uneven bars and balance beam. She did not compete last week at the Minnesota quad.

• Head coach Bev Plocki now has 594 career victories.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423

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