Jan. 31, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State gymnastics team traveled to its first road competition of the season on Friday to take on in-state rival Michigan at the Crisler Center. Though MSU posted its highest team score on the uneven bars and balance beam this season, the Spartans fell to the Wolverines 193.900–196.800.
“We definitely made a step in the right direction with an increase in our score quite a bit, which is a good thing,” said head coach Kathie Klages. “It’s the second-highest score of the season and on the road, which is also a good thing. We have a lot of work to do. It’s just very disappointing when we know they’re so much better than what they are performing in competition.”
For the first time this season, the Spartans kicked off the meet on the uneven bars. Though the event has given MSU trouble through the first three meets, the team compiled a season-best score of 48.675 led by a 9.800 from Lisa Burt to tie her season best and place sixth in the event. Ashley Noll, who posted a career-high on the event, and Alina Cartwright each scored a 9.750 to tie for eighth, while Brittany Holmes tied her season-best score of 9.725 to place 10th overall.
MSU then moved to the vault where the team was led by a second-place score of 9.875 from Cartwright. Kate Filosi and Burt tied for eighth overall as each posted a 9.650, while Dani Levy finished 10th overall with a score of 9.625. The Spartans finished on the event with a team total of 48.150.
On the floor exercise, the Spartans continued to struggle with hitting their routines as the team totaled a team score of 48.375. Cartwright took the top spot for MSU, placing fourth overall with a score of 9.800. She was followed by Levy, who tied for fifth with a score of 9.775. Elena Lagoski finished sixth with a score of 9.650, while Holmes posted a score of 9.600 to place seventh.
Michigan State concluded the meet on a high note as the team posted another season-best score of 48.700 on the balance beam. With her second runner-up finish of the night, Cartwright tied her career-best score of 9.850 to lead the Spartans. Alex Pace and Holly Ryan each earned a 9.775, a season-best for both gymnasts, to tie for fifth place overall.
In the all-around competition, Cartwright totaled a score of 39.275 to finish second overall.
“Alina Cartwright had another great meet,” Klages said. “I think she competed extremely well. We moved some of the lineup around and that always affects you a little bit. We put her a little later on bars, beam and floor then what we’ve been doing and she handled it extremely well.”
The Spartans will return home next weekend to host Iowa for the eighth-annual Jan Howard Memorial Breast Cancer Meet on Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.