March 16, 2012
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| Joanna Sampson (Facebook)
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Result: #21 Michigan 196.025, Michigan State 192.700
Records: U-M (9-5, 4-2 Big Ten), MSU (7-5-1, 0-3-1 Big Ten)
Attendance: 1,850 (sellout)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 24 -- at Big Ten Championships (Iowa City, Iowa), (TV: Big Ten Network)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) and sophomore Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) each tied for the all-around title with a score of 39.350, as the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics closed out the regular season in dominating fashion, beating in-state rival Michigan State, 196.025-192.700, on Friday (March 16) in front of a sellout crowd at Cliff Keen Arena.
For Michigan, the victory meant a few things. First, its team score of 196.025 was the highest in six home meets this season and was its second-highest overall score of the season. More importantly, the score allows the Wolverines to improve their RQS (regional qualifying score), which jumped from 195.475 to 195.710 following the performance. The four Big Ten teams with the highest RQS will compete in the night session at the Big Ten Championships. Minnesota came into the week holding that fourth spot with a 195.665 average, but Michigan has temporarily surpassed the Golden Gophers following tonight's performance. Minnesota has one more road meet remaining, a quad meet tomorrow (Saturday, March 17) at Denver (with Iowa and Arizona State).
Michigan began the meet on vault, posting a team score of 49.075. Each of the six gymnasts in the rotation scored above a 9.700, led by Zurales, who finished second with a score of 9.875. Freshman Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) and Sampson were third and fourth, scoring 9.850 and 9.825, respectively.
The Wolverines moved over to bars, where they placed three gymnasts on the podium. Sampson claimed the event title with a 9.850 score, followed by sophomore Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), who put together her best routine of the season, finishing second with a score of 9.825. Sugiyama was in a three-way tie for fourth at 9.750.
Michigan held a slight lead after two rotations but really expanded on it during the third. The team put up its best group of beam performances of the year, scoring 49.150 as a squad, a season high. Gies kicked things off, setting the tone with a career-best score of 9.850. Freshman Annette Miele (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) and Sampson followed, as each scored a 9.825. However, Zurales topped them all, standing alone atop the award stand with a 9.875, the sixth time this season she has scored above a 9.800 on that apparatus. Sugiyama assured the team of a solid score by landing a 9.775, while sophomore Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) performed on beam for the second week in a row, scoring 9.625. When coupled with a few Michigan State mistakes on floor, the Wolverines led 147.050-145.825 heading into the final rotation.
The Wolverines closed the meet out on floor, scoring 48.975 as a squad. Zurales capped her impressive evening with a 9.900 routine and an event title, followed by Sampson at 9.850 for third. Michigan State scored only 46.875 on beam after having to count three falls, assuring Michigan a wide margin of victory.
Michigan took the top four spots in the all-around. Following Zurales and Sampson were the two freshmen, as both Miele and Sugiyama tied for third (39.075).
With the regular season concluded, Michigan will prep to defend its title at next weekend's Big Ten Championships, which will be held on Saturday, March 24, in Iowa City, Iowa. The meet will be split into two sessions, with the four Big Ten teams with the lowest RQS competing at 2 p.m. CDT, while the higher four teams compete at 7 p.m. CDT. Both sessions will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.
Event-by-Event U-M Individual Scores
Reema Zakharia 9.700
Stephanie Colbert 9.750
Annette Miele 9.775
Katie Zurales 9.875 (2)
Joanna Sampson 9.825 (4)
Sachi Sugiyama 9.850 (3)
Katie Zurales 9.700
Annette Miele 9.700
Sachi Sugiyama 9.750 (t4)
Joanna Sampson 9.850 (1)
Shelby Gies 9.825 (2)
Shelby Gies 9.850 (2)
Annette Miele 9.825 (t3)
Joanna Sampson 9.825 (t3)
Katie Zurales 9.875 (1)
Sachi Sugiyama 9.775
Stephanie Colbert 9.625
Sachi Sugiyama 9.700
Stephanie Colbert 9.750
Annette Miele 9.775 (4)
Katie Zurales 9.900 (1)
Joanna Sampson 9.850 (3)
Reema Zakharia 9.175
Annette Miele 39.075 (t3)
Joanna Sampson 39.350 (t1)
Sachi Sugiyama 39.075 (t3)
Katie Zurales 39.350 (t1)
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423