Dec. 5, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team will unveil its 2013 squad on Friday (Dec. 7) in an exhibition meet against in-state rival Michigan State at Crisler Center. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Michigan enters the season looking to win its 19th Big Ten championship in the last 22 seasons (finished fourth in 2012) while also aiming to qualify to the NCAA Championships as a team for the 20th time in 22 seasons (did not compete as a team in 2012). The squad features 14 student-athletes, including 10 letterwinners from last year, and four freshmen.
The captains for this season are senior Katie Zurales (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) and junior Joanna Sampson (Willow Grove, Pa./Upper Moreland), the team's lone qualifiers to the 2012 NCAA Championships. The team will also get a boost from the return of senior Natalie Beilstein(Butler, Pa./Knoch), who is back after missing the majority of her junior season due to a torn Achilles suffered last January. Freshmen Austin Sheppard (Dallas, Texas/Plano Ridge), Morgan Smith (Clermont, Fla./East Ridge) and Lindsay Williams (Northville, Mich./Northville) will get their first taste of collegiate gymnastics on Friday, while Briley Casanova (Dallas, Texas/Spring Creek) will enroll early and join the team in January.
U-M is 56-32 all-time against Michigan State and has won 14-straight meetings against its in-state rivals. Since it is an exhibition, Friday's meet won't count toward those records. Michigan won last season's meeting, 196.025-192.700, inside Cliff Keen Arena (March 16, 2012) and finished higher than the Spartans at both the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Auburn Regional Championships. The two teams will meet in its lone regular-season meet on March 2 and again on March 23 at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, with both meetings held in East Lansing.
The Wolverines officially open the 2013 season against No. 9 Oregon State and BYU at the Cancun Invitational on Friday, Jan. 4, in Cancun, Mexico. U-M's first home meet will be Saturday, Jan. 12, vs. No. 7 Nebraska at 4 p.m. inside Crisler Center.
Season tickets for the 2013 U-M women's gymnastics season are on sale now. Single-meet tickets will go on sale Tuesday, Dec. 11. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.mgoblue.com/tickets or by calling 1-866-296-MTIX.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423