Feb. 18, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) and senior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) of the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team were named Big Ten co-Gymnast of the Week and co-Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, by the conference on Monday (Feb. 18). The duo accounted for three event titles in Michigan's 197.375-196.700 victory over Penn State last Saturday (Feb. 16) at Cliff Keen Arena.
Sampson wins the honor for the third time this season (Jan. 14, Feb. 4), sharing this week's award with Illinois' Alina Weinstein. Sampson won the all-around against Penn State, scoring 39.600 to match her career best set Feb. 2 vs. Iowa. She is the first U-M gymnast since Elise Ray in 2004 to have two scores of 39.600 in the all-around in the same season.
Sampson was part of a Michigan floor exercise rotation that tied the program record for high score (49.625), winning the event title with a career-best score of 9.975. Additionally, she finished second to Martinez on uneven bars, grabbing a career-best score of 9.925, and tied for third on balance beam (9.850). Sampson also scored 9.850 on vault. This season, she has four first-place finishes in the all-around and has won or shared 13 event titles.
Against Penn State, Martinez won event titles on uneven bars (9.950) and balance beam (9.900), posting career-high scores in both events. They were also her first two event wins of the season. She holds national rankings in each event, listing tied for 16th on uneven bars (9.858 average) and 17th on balance beam (9.846 average).
Martinez, who shares the honor this week with Penn State's Madison Merriam, is the second Michigan gymnast to receive Event Specialist of the Week honors this season, joining junior Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High), who received the award on Jan. 21.
Michigan will hit the road for its next competition, facing No. 25 West Virginia, New Hampshire and Towson in a quad meet Sunday (Feb. 24) at 2 p.m. in Morgantown, W.Va.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423