Feb. 24, 2013
Site: Morgantown, W. Va. (WVU Coliseum)
U-M Team Result: 1st Place of 4 Teams (196.925)
Records: U-M (12-1, 5-1 Big Ten), West Virginia (8-6), New Hampshire (10-5), Towson (7-10)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 2 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 4 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Behind two event wins a piece from senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) and junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland), the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team rallied to take first place (196.925) at the West Virginia quad on Sunday (Feb. 24) inside the WVU Coliseum. West Virginia finished second (196.550), followed by New Hampshire (194.950) and Towson (193.150).
Though neither were all-arounders on Sunday due to rest, Zurales won vault (9.925) and balance beam (9.925), while Sampson won uneven bars (9.875) and tied for the win on floor exercise (9.950).
The Wolverines started the meet on uneven bars and encountered some adversity. The first two gymnasts in the rotation hit, including a 9.850 from Zurales and a 9.800 from sophomore Annette Miele (Easton, Pa./Easton Area), good enough for second and a tie for third, respectively. Junior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) scored 9.325 in the third spot, the result of taking an extra swing on the high bar. Sophomore Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) got the Wolverines back on track in the fourth spot with a 9.825 to tie for third, but Michigan was forced to count a subpar score after senior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) had trouble with her handstand on the high bar, scoring only 9.475. Sampson anchored the rotation, putting up a team-best 9.875 score and giving the Wolverines 48.825 after one rotation.
Michigan rebounded on beam by picking up a 49.250, its second-highest total on that event this season. The first two gymnasts up were Gies and Martinez, who scored 9.850 (tie for third) and 9.825, respectively. Three other gymnasts recorded 9.825 scores, including Miele, Sampson and freshman Briley Casanova (Dallas, Texas/Spring Creek Academy). The rotation was capped by Zurales, who tallied a 9.925. Michigan had a team score of 98.075 after two rotations, but West Virginia was in the lead with 98.150.
For the second straight week, Michigan shined on floor exercise, scoring 49.450. Sampson earned a team-best 9.950 in the anchor spot, after senior Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch) got the energy going with a beautiful routine to lead off the rotation, scoring 9.900 to finish third. Sugiyama and junior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High) received consecutive scores of 9.875 in the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, each tying for fourth place. The final counted total came from junior Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), who got a 9.850.
Heading into the fourth and final rotation (vault), it was a two-team race, with Michigan leading West Virginia by three tenths of a point at 147.525-147.225. The Wolverines' tallied a season-best 49.400 on the apparatus. Zurales led the way with a meet-best 9.925, followed by freshman Austin Sheppard (Dallas, Texas/Plano East), who finished second with 9.900. Beilstein and Sugiyama tied for fourth with a score of 9.875. Colbert and Zakharia were the other two in the rotation, both scoring 9.825. West Virginia notched 49.325 on floor exercise.
The Wolverines are back on the road next Saturday (March 2), making the short drive to East Lansing, Mich., to take on rival Michigan State. The meet will begin at 4 p.m.
Event-by-Event U-M Individual Scores
Vault Stephanie Colbert 9.825 Katie Zurales 9.925 (1) Natalie Beilstein 9.875 (t4) Reema Zakharia 9.825 Sachi Sugiyama 9.875 (t4) Austin Sheppard 9.900 (t2) Uneven Bars Katie Zurales 9.850 (2) Annette Miele 9.800 (t5) Shelby Gies 9.325 Sachi Sugiyama 9.825 (t3) Brittnee Martinez 9.475 Joanna Sampson 9.875 (1) Balance Beam Shelby Gies 9.850 (t3) Brittnee Martinez 9.825 Annette Miele 9.825 Briley Casanova 9.825 Joanna Sampson 9.825 Katie Zurales 9.925 (1) Floor Exercise Natalie Beilstein 9.900 (3) Stephanie Colbert 9.850 Briley Casanova 9.825 Reema Zakharia 9.875 (t4) Sachi Sugiyama 9.875 (t4) Joanna Sampson 9.950 (t1)
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423
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