April 11, 2011
MICHIGAN COMPETES FOR A NATIONAL TITLE AT NCAAs
Friday-Sunday, April 15-17 -- at NCAA Championships (Cleveland, Ohio)
Live Video: Semifinals 1 & 2 | Super Six | Individual Event Finals
Live Results: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
The sixth-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team (22-5) advanced to the program's 18th NCAA Championships in the last 19 seasons for a shot at the program's first national title. U-M begins its quest on Friday (April 15) in the NCAA Semifinals against defending national champion UCLA, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas and Illinois at noon. The top three teams advance to the Super Six on Saturday (April 16) at 4 p.m. to take on the three best finishers among the evening semifinal bracket featuring Florida, Alabama, Utah, Oregon State, Nebraska and Kent State. Sunday (April 17) is reserved for the individual event finals at 1 p.m., where the top four performers in each event in the semifinal sessions have a chance to win individual national titles.
Michigan matched up against seven of the 11 opposing programs to advance to nationals, posting a record of 6-3 against the field. The Wolverines have wins over Georgia, Illinois, Kent State and Nebraska, with dual-meet losses to Oklahoma, Alabama and Utah. Michigan captured the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional championship with a season-best 197.075 score, while four Wolverines took home individual-event honors.
The three-day event will be held at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
THE MICHIGAN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS RUNDOWN
MICHIGAN'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
The Wolverines advance to their 19th NCAA Championships in program history and the 18th trip in the last 19 seasons. Michigan has twice finished runner-up in the nation, first in 1995 and again in 1999. U-M has advanced to nine Super Six finals (the last in 2005) and two Wolverines have captured individual national titles (Beth Wymer and Elise Ray, each with three titles apiece).
PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME
Michigan has had an incredible run at the end of the season, peaking just in time for the postseason:
Michigan's top two team scores have come in the postseason (Big Tens and Regionals) and the top six scores of the year have all come in the final seven weeks of the season.
Ten Wolverines have posted career or season highs in the last five meets: Kylee Botterman, Natalie Beilstein, Stephanie Colbert, Sarah Curtis, Shelby Gies, Brittnee Martinez, Joanna Sampson, Jordan Sexton, Reema Zakharia, Katie Zurales.
THE KYLEE BOTTERMAN FILE
Big Ten and NCAA Northeast Regional Gymnast of the Year Kylee Botterman is having one of the most successful seasons of any Wolverine in program history:
Botterman won nearly half (46 percent) of the events she competed in this season (30 individual titles out of a possible 65), winning 11 crowns in the all-around, five titles each on vault and balance beam, eight titles on floor and one award on bars.
Botterman has earned her way onto the podium in 80 percent of the events she competed on, placing first, second or third on 52 of 65 events (including the all-around) this season.
Botterman has just two scores below 9.800 this entire season (48 events) and 16 9.900+ scores on the year -- more than the combined rosters of four separate Big Ten programs.
Botterman won the all-around competition in 11 of 12 meets this season, losing out on the all-around at Big Tens after suffering her first fall in nearly two years.
TRISH WILSON IS BACK IN ACTION
Senior Trish Wilson won the NCAA Regional uneven bars title, continuing a fairy tale ending to her collegiate career. After six knee surgeries and four ACL tears, Wilson returned for one final season of gymnastics. So far she has won three bars titles in eight meets and finished among the top three on bars in six of the last seven meets.
PLOCKI LEADS 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 19 20-win campaigns, seven 30-win seasons and back-to-back 36-win seasons in 1994 and 1995.
MICHIGAN WINS FIFTH-STRAIGHT BIG TEN TITLE
The Wolverines came from behind to capture their fifth straight Big Ten title and the 18th Big Ten title in the last 20 years beating the field in Minneapolis. Michigan's 19 total Big Ten titles are the most for any Big Ten women's program in any sport.
NINE WOLVERINE CLASSES LEAVE WITH A BOX OF RINGS
With the program's fifth straight Big Ten title, nine classes of seniors graduate with a Big Ten ring in each of their years at Michigan. Seniors Kylee Botterman, Kari Pearce and Trish Wilson and fifth-year seniors Sarah Curtis and Jordan Sexton have earned Big Ten titles in each of their years with the Wolverines.
Michigan welcomes its largest freshman class in 20 years with seven newcomers ready for action in 2011: Teresa Arthur (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley), Stephanie Colbert (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua 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).
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WOLVERINES
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.
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
Follow the Michigan women's gymnastics program all season long on Twitter and Facebook. Get news, features, photos and exclusive information on your computer or mobile device all year long. "Like" us today!
Contact: Richard Retyi (734) 763-442