Artz, Brown, Karas are All-Americans; U-M Gets Fifth in NCAA Semis

April 14, 2017

» Michigan placed fifth in NCAA Semifinal session II.
» Nicole Artz, Brianna Brown and Olivia Karas earned second team All-America honors.
» The Wolverines finish the season with a 27-7 record.

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Site: St. Louis, Mo. (Chaifetz Arena)
Event: NCAA Semifinal (Session II)
U-M Team Result: 5th Place of 6 Teams (196.4625)
U-M Record: U-M (27-7)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The University of Michigan women's gymnastics team scored a 196.4625 to finish in fifth place at the NCAA Semifinal II on Friday night (April 14) at Chaifetz Arena.

Finishing outside the top three in the session meant an end to the Wolverines' season. It was one to remember as U-M turned heads down the stretch with the program's 12th NCAA Regional title, a fourth straight Big Ten championship and a Big Ten regular-season title.

Entering championship weekend, the Wolverines felt great about their chances to make it to a Super Six. However, it was not in the cards on this particular evening as the Wolverines.

"We put everything we could out there," said senior Nicole Artz. "It is the nature of the sport to have good days and bad days, and unfortunately today it wasn't our best day."

Three U-M gymnasts walked away with NACGC/W second team All-America honors. Artz finished her career with eight total All-America accolades after finishing in the top eight on uneven bars and floor exercise. Junior Brianna Brown tied Artz on bars for second team honors, and sophomore Olivia Karas earned second team on vault and in the all-around at her first NCAA Championships.

Nine of the team's 12 gymnasts had never competed in a NCAA Championships. That did not stop the team from coming out with a lot of excitement and poise to start the meet. The team started the meet with a bye before beginning on uneven bars. Freshman Lexi Funk was the first gymnast to go and was cool, calm and collected, matching her season high with a 9.850 to lead them off on the uneven bars.

U-M had a strong start with a 49.300 on bars. Two NCAA Championships veterans, Brown and Artz, tied for the team lead with a 9.900 in the middle of a successful rotation. The 9.900 marks a season high for Brown and gave Artz her sixth 9.900 of the year on the apparatus.

The Wolverines had two tough falls in its second rotation as Funk and senior Talia Chiarelli tried their best to stay on the balance beam but could not quite hold on. Artz and junior Lauren Marinez followed Funk with strong 9.875 routines, and junior Paige Zaziski set a career high on the event with a 9.8875.

During its second bye rotation, the Wolverines came together in the locker room and came back out as they have all year. Determined to bounce back stronger than they were before, U-M came out and competed hard on floor.

Each of the first five gymnasts scored 9.850 or better. Artz led the way with a 9.9125 to tie for eighth in the session. It marks her ninth time scoring 9.900 or better on the event in 2017.

The Wolverines closed out the meet with a 48.9750 on vault. Karas had the big vault of the day for U-M with a 9.900 to tie for fifth and earn post-meet recognition for a top-eight performance during the two semifinal sessions. She scored 9.900 or better in five meets this season.

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