Maize & Blue Slips to Third at Big Ten Quad in Home Finale
Nicole Artz

March 15, 2014

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Event: Big Ten Quad
U-M Team Standing: 3rd Place of 4 Teams (196.025)
Records: U-M (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten), Minnesota (19-2, 6-1 Big Ten), Penn State (20-3, 5-2 Big Ten), Iowa (1-12, 0-7 Big Ten)
Attendance: 2,286
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 22 -- at Big Ten Championships (State College, Pa.), Noon [ TV: Big Ten Network ]

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) tied for first in the all-around (39.600) and won uneven bars (9.900) and floor exercise (9.925), but the No. 7-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team slipped to third place in the first annual Big Ten Quad, held on Saturday (March 15) inside Crisler Center. Minnesota (196.700) won the quad meet and clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship with Nebraska, the winner of the other quad in East Lansing, Mich. Penn State took second (196.475), and Iowa took fourth (194.750).

Due to the third-place finish, Michigan will compete in the first session at the Big Ten Championships, held next Saturday (March 22) in State College, Pa. The Wolverines will be joined in the first session -- scheduled for noon EDT -- by Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State. Nebraska, Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois will compete in the evening session (5 p.m.).

As they normally do in home meets, the Wolverines started on vault, scoring 49.175, likely leaving some tenths out there due to hops and steps on landings. The best vault of the rotation came from its anchor, as sophomore Austin Sheppard (Murphy, Texas/Plano East) landed her huge Yurchenko Full to score a 9.950. Sampson, junior Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) and fifth-year senior Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch) each record 9.825s. while freshman Talia Chiarelli (Boston, Mass./Lexington) and senior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High) each had 9.750s.

U-M got some of those tenths back on uneven bars in one of the best rotations of the season, scoring 49.475. Sampson put forth a dominant routine, scoring 9.950 with an incredibly-high Tkatchev and an equally-high double layout dismount. Following her was freshman Nicole Artz (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) and senior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), as each capped their 9.900 routines with stuck dismounts - a double layout from Artz and a double tuck from Gies. Sheppard and Sugiyama each recorded 9.850s, but only one was counted after Beilstein scored 9.875 in the anchor spot. U-M led at the halfway point (98.650), followed by Penn State (98.350), Minnesota (98.300) and Iowa (97.525).

The Wolverines encountered some problems on balance beam and had to count a fall for the first time there all season. The rotation started off beautifully with U-M's two freshmen, as Artz nailed her best routine of the season to score 9.900 in the leadoff spot, followed by Chiarelli at 9.825. U-M ran into its rough patch in the middle, as the next two gymnasts, Gies and Sheppard, each failed to stay on the beam. The Wolverines rallied to close, however, as Sampson scored 9.900 and sophomore Lindsay Williams (Northville, Mich./Northville) at 9.825. Michigan was on the outside looking in heading into the last rotation (146.725), as it trailed both Minnesota (147.500) and Penn State (147.375).

Michigan rebounded on floor exercise to score 49.300, but it wasn't enough to overtake Penn State for second place, who hit five-of-six routines on uneven bars. The rotation was highlighted by the seniors, competing for the final time inside Crisler Center. Sampson anchored the rotation at 9.925, while fellow seniors Beilstein and Zakharia each scored 9.875. Artz, who was battling an illness all week long, powered through to score 9.900. The fifth counted score was Sugiyama at 9.725.

The postseason officially begins next Saturday (March 22), as Michigan heads to University Park, Pa., to compete in the 2014 Big Ten Championships. The afternoon session will be televised live on Big Ten Network at noon EDT. Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and former Olympian Shawn Johnson (analyst) will be on the call.

Team StandingsVaultBarsBeamFloorTotal
Penn State49.02549.10049.22549.125196.475

Event Winners/U-M Finishers

Talia Chiarelli            9.750
Reema Zakharia             9.750
Sachi Sugiyama             9.825 (t5)
Natalie Beilstein          9.825 (t5)
Joanna Sampson             9.825 (t5)
Austin Sheppard            9.950 (1)
Uneven Bars
Sachi Sugiyama             9.850
Nicole Artz                9.900 (t2)
Shelby Gies                9.900 (t2)
Austin Sheppard            9.850
Joanna Sampson             9.950 (1)
Natalie Beilstein          9.875 (t5)
Balance Beam
Nicole Artz                9.900 (t2)
Talia Chiarelli            9.825
Shelby Gies                8.475
Austin Sheppard            8.625
Joanna Sampson             9.900 (t2)
Lindsay Williams           9.825
Floor Exercise
Sachi Sugiyama             9.725
Brooke Parker              9.150
Natalie Beilstein          9.875 (t4)
Nicole Artz                9.900 (t2)
Reema Zakharia             9.875 (t4)
Joanna Sampson             9.925 (1)
Joanna Sampson             39.600 (t1)

Contact: Brad Rudner (

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