Artz, Zakharia Receive Big Ten Weekly Accolades
Nicole Artz (L) and Reema Zakharia

Jan. 27, 2014

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Senior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High) was named Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week, while freshman Nicole Artz (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) was tabbed Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday (Jan. 27).

Zakharia put in one of the best performances of her career in the 197.325-195.200 victory over Ohio State last Saturday (Jan. 25). She tied for first on balance beam with senior teammate Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), scoring a career-best 9.900, surpassing her previous career high by .125. Zakharia also took second on floor exercise (9.925) and was fourth on vault (9.850). It is her second career Event Specialist of the Week honor (Jan. 21, 2013).

Artz receives the honor for the second time in three weeks following her three-event performance against the Buckeyes. She tied for first on uneven bars (9.875), placed third on floor exercise (9.900) and also was in the lineup on balance beam, scoring a 9.800. The last U-M gymnast to receive two Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors was current fifth-year senior Natalie Beilstein (Butler, Pa./Knoch) back in 2010 (she won it six times).

Michigan is back in action on Friday (Jan. 31), facing Michigan State at 7 p.m. inside Crisler Center. It has been designated as the team's first-ever Autism Awareness Meet. [ Tickets ]

Contact: Brad Rudner (

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