Sampson, Sheppard Pick Up Big Ten Weekly Honors
Austin Sheppard (L) and Joanna Sampson

Feb. 3, 2014

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Two members of the No. 6-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team corralled Big Ten weekly honors on Monday (Feb. 3), as senior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) was named Gymnast of the Week, while sophomore Austin Sheppard (Murphy, Texas/Plano East) was named Event Specialist of the Week. Each gymnast received their respective honor for the second time this season.

Both women had career days to help lead Michigan past Michigan State, 196.800-193.900, last Friday (Jan. 31) inside Crisler Center. Sampson won the all-around for the fourth consecutive meet, scoring a 39.650, tying her career best. It is the third-highest all-around score of any gymnast in the nation this year, behind only Bridget Sloan (39.750) and Kytra Hunter (39.700) of No. 1 Florida. She is currently tied for second in the nation in the all-around, averaging 39.519. Additionally, Sampson won three event titles, setting career-high scores on both uneven bars (9.975) and balance beam (9.925), while tying for first on floor exercise (9.875). She also tied for second on vault (9.875).

Sheppard was in the lineup on three events against Michigan State, winning vault for the fourth consecutive meet with a career-high score of 9.975. She is ranked third nationally on that event, averaging 9.925. Sheppard was in on two other events, tying for third on uneven bars with a career-high score of 9.875 while also making her collegiate debut in the floor exercise lineup, scoring 9.550.

Michigan embarks on a three-meet road trip beginning this Friday (Feb. 7) at No. 14 Illinois. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. CST in Champaign, Ill.

Contact: Brad Rudner (

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