Zurales Wins Trio of Events, Sampson Two against No. 5 Georgia
Katie Zurales

March 9, 2012

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Site: Ypsilanti, Mich. (EMU Convocation Center)
Score: #5 Georgia 196.575, #20 Michigan 195.300
Records: U-M (8-5), Georgia (7-3)
Attendance: 1,253
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 16 -- vs. Michigan State (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Junior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) won the all-around and two additional event titles and sophomore Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) claimed two, but the No. 20-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team fell to No. 5 Georgia, 196.575-195.300, on Friday (March 9) inside Eastern Michigan's Convocation Center. Zurales scored 49.450 in the all-around and also tied for first on vault (9.925) and beam (9.900), while Sampson tied her on vault and won floor with a 9.925.

The Wolverines started the meet on vault, where Zurales and Sampson scored consecutive 9.925 scores. With junior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) out for the meet due to an ankle injury she suffered last week, sophomore Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High) filled her spot by returning to the vault lineup following a three-week absence, starting the rotation and scoring a 9.650. Sophomore Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) scored a 9.775, but the rotation ended with a below-average score after the Wolverines were forced to count a 9.225.

Michigan put up only five gymnasts on uneven bars, headlined with Sampson and sophomore Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), who tied for the team lead with 9.850s, tying a season high for Gies. Zurales and freshman Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) posted a 9.825 and a 9.800, respectively.

The Wolverines moved to balance beam, which was championed by Zurales, who rebounded after a fall last week at Penn State to perform a near-flawless routine, tying a season-best score at 9.900. The team did not count a fall. Colbert, who was competing on beam for the first time in her collegiate career, scored a 9.725 score.

On floor, the Wolverines once again only put five up but hit all five, scoring 9.800s or higher for a 49.225. Sampson tied a season high with a 9.925 to win the event, while Zakharia tied for third (9.875) and Colbert tied for fifth (9.825). Sugiyama and Zurales rounded out the rotation, each scoring a 9.800.

Joining Zurales on the podium stand were the team's other two all-arounders. Sampson tied for second (39.350) and Sugiyama was fifth (38.575).

Michigan closes out the regular season next Friday (March 16), when it faces in-state rival Michigan State at 7 p.m. inside Cliff Keen Arena. The meet will be televised to a national audience on the Big Ten Network.

Team Standings Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Georgia 49.225 49.325 48.800 49.225 196.575
Michigan 48.500 48.850 48.725 49.225 195.300

Event-by-Event U-M Individual Scores

Reema Zakharia              9.650
Stephanie Colbert           9.775
Katie Zurales               9.925 (t1)
Joanna Sampson              9.925 (t1)
Sachi Sugiyama              9.225
Annette Miele               9.225
Uneven Bars
Katie Zurales               9.825
Annette Miele               9.525
Sachi Sugiyama              9.800
Joanna Sampson              9.850 (t4)
Shelby Gies                 9.850 (t4)
Balance Beam
Shelby Gies                 9.625
Annette Miele               9.700
Joanna Sampson              9.650
Katie Zurales               9.900 (t1)
Sachi Sugiyama              9.750
Stephanie Colbert           9.725
Floor Exercise
Sachi Sugiyama              9.800
Stephanie Colbert           9.825 (t5)
Katie Zurales               9.800
Joanna Sampson              9.925 (1)
Reema Zakharia              9.875 (t3)
Joanna Sampson              39.350 (t2)
Sachi Sugiyama              38.575 (5)
Katie Zurales               39.450 (1)


• The meet was held at the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti due to the next phase of renovations at Crisler Center.

• The Wolverines can include this score into their RQS (regional qualifying score). Coming into this week, Michigan's RQS was 195.345, putting them at 20th in the country. The Wolverines can now include this score and drop their 194.650 from Feb. 3 against West Virginia, meaning the team's RQS will go up when the new rankings come out on Monday.

• Michigan drops to 5-24 all-time against Georgia. The loss also snaps a three-meet win streak in the series for U-M.

• The Wolverines tied a season high on floor (49.225). They also received the same score in the season-opening meet on Jan. 13 against Ohio State.

• After going above 49.000 on vault in each of the seven meets of the season, Michigan put up a sub-49.000 score for the second straight meet (48.500).

Katie Zurales' previous career best in the all-around was 39.300, set in the season-opening meet against Ohio State.

Stephanie Colbert put up a season-best score on floor (9.825).

• Michigan competed in its first meet this season without junior Brittnee Martinez, who suffered a sprained ankle in last Friday's tri-meet at Penn State (March 2).

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423

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