March 16, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #3 Michigan 196.825, Iowa State 195.125
Records: U-M (17-1), Iowa State (4-11)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 23 -- at Big Ten Championships (East Lansing, Mich.), 6 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team closed out the regular season defeating Iowa State for the third time this season, 196.825-195.125, on Senior Day on Saturday (March 16) inside Crisler Center. Junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) won the all-around for the fourth straight week (39.500) and also kept her streak of floor exercise titles going, winning that event for the seventh-straight week (9.925).
Senior Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch) won a pair of titles, finishing alone in first on uneven bars (9.925) and tying for first on vault (9.925). She also tied for fourth on floor exercise (9.850). Another senior led the Wolverines on balance beam, as Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) scored a team-high second-place finish (9.850).
The Wolverines started the meet off with a bang, scoring 49.550 on vault, tying the team's season high. A quartet of gymnasts scored above 9.900, including a season-best performance from freshman Austin Sheppard (Dallas, Texas/Plano East), who stuck her Yurchenko full cold for a 9.925 score in the anchor spot. Beilstein and Sampson also scored 9.925s, while senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) scored a 9.900. Junior Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) was the fifth counted score in the rotation, scoring a 9.875.
Michigan encountered some adversity on uneven bars and was forced to count a fall for the first time this season after the first two gymnasts in the rotation fell during their release on the high bar. Zurales got the team back on track in the third spot, scoring a 9.875 to tie for second with Sampson, who went up fifth. Martinez received a 9.750 score, before Beilstein put an exclamation point with her career-high performance (9.925) in the anchor spot. After two rotations, Michigan led Iowa State, 98.400-97.675.
The Wolverines rebounded on balance beam, hitting five-of-six routines under pressure. Junior Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) bounced back from a fall on uneven bars in the prior rotation, hitting a solid 9.800 routine in the opening spot. Following Martinez was sophomore Annette Miele (Easton, Pa./Easton Area), who scored 9.825 to tie for fourth in the third rotation. After Sampson scored 9.775 out of the fifth spot, Zurales needed to hit a routine to prevent Michigan from counting another fall. Despite falling in each of the last two meets, she came through on Saturday in another pressure-packed situation, bringing the rotation home with a 9.825 score to give Wolverines a rotation score of 49.075.
The Wolverines capped the meet strong, with five of the six gymnasts on floor exercise finishing in the top four, led by Sampson (9.925). Junior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High) tied for second (9.875), following by a trio of gymnasts at 9.850 -- Beilstein, sophomore Sachi Sugiyama (Keller, Texas/Keller) and freshman Briley Casanova (Dallas, Texas/Spring Creek Academy). The Cyclones were forced to count a fall on balance beam, giving the Wolverines the extra cushion they needed in the victory.
The Wolverines begin the postseason next Saturday (March 23) with the 2013 Big Ten Championships at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. By virtue of having one of the four highest RQSs in the conference, Michigan will compete in the evening session, which begins at 6 p.m. The session will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. The Wolverines finished fourth last season but have won 18 of the last 21 Big Ten titles dating back to 1992.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers
Vault Stephanie Colbert 9.875 (5) Katie Zurales 9.900 (4) Natalie Beilstein 9.925 (t1) Sachi Sugiyama 9.775 Joanna Sampson 9.925 (t1) Austin Sheppard 9.925 (t1) Uneven Bars Shelby Gies 9.425 Sachi Sugiyama 9.225 Katie Zurales 9.875 (t2) Brittnee Martinez 9.750 Joanna Sampson 9.875 (t2) Natalie Beilstein 9.925 (1) Balance Beam Shelby Gies 9.800 Brittnee Martinez 9.850 (t2) Annette Miele 9.825 (t4) Briley Casanova 9.250 Joanna Sampson 9.775 Katie Zurales 9.825 (t4) Floor Exercise Natalie Beilstein 9.850 (t4) Briley Casanova 9.850 (t4) Katie Zurales 9.250 Reema Zakharia 9.875 (t2) Sachi Sugiyama 9.850 (t4) Joanna Sampson 9.925 (1) All-Around Joanna Sampson 39.500 (1) Katie Zurales 38.850 (3)
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423