Weekly #12: Michigan to Go for Five-Peat at Big Ten Championships
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MGOBLUE

March 15, 2011

MICHIGAN GOES FOR THE FIVE-PEAT AT THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, March 19, 2 p.m. CDT -- at Big Ten Championships (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Live Results | TV: Big Ten Network (LIVE) with Mike Leiderman, Eddie Umphrey, Elise Ray

The ninth-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team (11-5, 4-1 Big Ten) goes for a five-peat when the team travels to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten Championships on Saturday (March 19) at 2 p.m. CDT inside the Sports Pavilion. The seven-team field will feature six top-21 teams, including No. 10 Penn State, No. 14 Iowa, No. 15 Ohio State, No. 16 Illinois and No. 21 Minnesota. Michigan State is the only unranked team at Big Tens. This is one of the strongest fields in the history of the Big Ten Championships, rivaling 2007 (six top-25 teams) and 2009 (five top-20 teams).

Michigan has won each of the last four Big Ten titles and 17 of the last 19 championships, finishing fourth in 2006 and second in 1997. Last season, Michigan edged Penn State for the title in Columbus, Ohio, winning the program's 18th Big Ten title. Penn State (currently ranked No. 10 in the nation) has finished runner-up in 10 Big Ten Championships and is still looking for its first conference title. Illinois (currently ranked No. 16) finished runner-up in 2008 and 2009 and has one Big Ten title on its resume, won back in 1990.

Iowa (No. 14) and Ohio State (No. 15) are having stellar seasons and look to make a splash at Big Tens. Iowa took third at Big Tens in 2010 -- the program's highest finish since 2003. Ohio State has five Big Ten titles in the rafters but has finished no better than fourth at Big Tens since 1999. The 21st-ranked and host Golden Gophers are the last Big Ten program other than Michigan to win Big Tens, capturing the 1998 and 2006 Big Ten titles. Minnesota has five conference rings in all. The only unranked Big Ten program is Michigan State, which lists 38th in the nation. The Spartans have never won a Big Ten title, finishing runner-up eight times.

THE MICHIGAN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS RUNDOWN

RETURNING BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
The Wolverines return five Big Ten champions this year, including three seniors:

Natalie Beilstein: 2010 Vault
Kylee Botterman: 2008 Floor Exercise, 2009 Floor Exercise
Sarah Curtis: 2008 Uneven Bars
Trish Wilson: 2009 Uneven Bars

WOLVERINES IN THE RANKINGS
Five Wolverines are among the top 10 athletes in the Big Ten on vault, bars, beam and floor heading into the championships.

Kylee Botterman
Vault (1), Bars (3), Beam (5), Floor (1), All-Around (2)
Natalie Beilstein
Vault (3), Floor (6)
Jordan Sexton
Bars (5), Beam (9)
Katie Zurales
Vault (8)
Joanna Sampson
Vault (9)

Kylee Botterman SWEEPS THE ALL-AROUND
Senior Kylee Botterman won the all-around competition in all 10 regular-season meets, heading into the Big Ten Championships as the nation's second-best all-arounder. Botterman has 21 all-around titles in her career, posting a career-best 39.675 in 2010 and a season-high 39.625 score at the Michigan Triangle on Feb. 13 this year.

MORE Kylee Botterman QUICK HITS
• Kylee won nearly half (49%) of the events she competed in this season (27 individual titles out of a possible 55) -- winning 10 crowns in the all-around, five titles each on vault and balance beam, six titles on floor and one award on bars.

• Kylee has earned her way onto the podium in 85 percent of the events she competed on, placing first, second or third on 47 of 55 events (including the all-around) this season.

Trish Wilson IS BACK IN ACTION
Senior Trish Wilson won her second uneven bars title this season, scoring a 9.900 against No. 3 Alabama on March 4. Wilson returned this year after her fourth ACL surgery, competing in six meets and winning two bars titles. Wilson has six uneven bars titles in her collegiate career including the 2009 Big Ten bars title.

Bev Plocki LEADS MICHIGAN IN HER 22ND SEASON
Head coach Bev Plocki picked up win No. 555 this season and is third on U-M's list of active coaches with the most career wins, trailing hockey coach Red Berenson and softball coach Carol Hutchins. In her 22nd season at the helm, Plocki has 18 20-win campaigns, seven 30-win seasons and back-to-back 36-win seasons in 1994 and 1995.

FRESHMAN ORIENTATION
Michigan has its largest freshman class in 20 years with seven newcomers in 2011: Teresa Arthur (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley), Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley), Shelby Gies (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), Tori Kane (Mickleton, N.J./Glouchester County Institute of Technology), Kristin Nagle (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington), Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland) and Reema Zakharia (Miami, Fla./Coral Gables Senior High).

CAPTAINS' CORNER
Michigan's captains for the 2011 season are fifth-year seniors Sarah Curtis and Jordan Sexton and seniors Kylee Botterman and Trish Wilson.

ALL ABOUT THE WOLVERINES

Get Your Tickets to the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships
On April 2, Michigan will host the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regional Women's Gymnastics Championships at Crisler Arena, welcoming five of the top teams in the nation in a meet that will set the field for the NCAA Championships. In the past, Michigan has welcomed teams like Florida, Arkansas, Utah, Auburn, Arizona State, Stanford, Alabama and LSU to Crisler Arena for regional championships. Go to MGoBlue.com/tickets or call 734-764-0247 to pre-order your tickets. Seats are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors prior to the meet but all tickets are $8 on the day of the meet. Get your tickets today!

MICHIGAN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS YEARBOOK ONLINE
Check out the brand new Michigan women's gymnastics yearbook. The fully interactive online publication features the athletes and coaches, Crisler Arena, the Donald R. Shepherd Gymnastics Training Facility and covers the storied history of Michigan women's gymnastics.

2011 U-M Women's Gymnastics Yearbook

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Contact: Richard Retyi (734) 763-4423