Feb. 7, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. – In front of a season-high attendance, the Michigan State gymnastics team earned its first win of the season at the Eighth Annual Jan Howard Memorial ‘Flip for a Cure’ Breast Cancer Awareness Meet. The Spartans used their highest balance beam score of 2014 to tie their season-high team total and top the Iowa Hawkeyes 194.150-193.750.
“It’s really exciting to get the first win of the season,” said head coach Kathie Klages. “We started out very rough with some pretty big errors on vault and then went to bars and again didn’t do what we see in the gym everyday. We came back on beam and went seven-for-seven, which got us fired up to go to floor. We did a nice job on floor, and they’re even better than what they’ve done tonight. I feel like we fought back and didin’t give up, and that is a really solid quality to have in a team.”
The Spartans kicked off the meet by posting their second-highest vault score of the season, tallying a 48.350. Alina Cartwright led MSU on the event as she posted a 9.825 to tie for first place overall, while Elena Lagoski recorded a 9.750 to finish fifth. Rounding out MSU in the top-10 was Dani Levy, who posted a 9.700 for seventh place. The Hawkeyes scored a 48.850 to take the win in the event.
On the uneven bars, the Spartans continued to struggle on the event as they have throughout the season, scoring a 48.275. However, freshman Mackenzie Smith earned a season-high score of 9.700 to post a fourth-place finish. She followed Ashley Noll, who led the Spartans with a score of 9.725 to place third overall. Kate Filosi tied her season-high of 9.650 to finish sixth, while Brittany Holmes place eighth with a score of 9.625.
MSU bounced back on the balance beam to earn a 48.900, the highest score of the season, and pick up a lead over Iowa. Leading the Spartans again was Cartwright, posting a 9.825 to win the event outright. Holly Ryan and Alex Pace tied for second-place overall as each posted personal-best scores of 9.800. Noll also earned a season-high score of 9.775 to place fifth, while Holmes tied for sixth place with a 9.725.
Finishing strong on the floor exercise, Michigan State outscored the Hawkeyes 48.625 to 48.500. Cartwright and Lagoski paced the Spartans as they each posted a score of 9.825 to tied for first place. Also tying in the event was Pace and Lisa Burt, each picking up a score of 9.725 to tied for fifth-place overall.
In the all-around competition, Iowa’s Alie Glover earned the individual win with a score of 39.025 as she edged out Cartwright’s overall score of 38.800.
The meet was held in honor of the late Jan Howard, mother of former Spartan gymnast Angela Howard Montie.
“I think it was awesome,” said Montie. “I couldn’t ask for more being an alumni and being able to raise awareness about breast cancer. The more people that are here, the more people that see and hear what we’re talking about. It was a great night for everything to come together.”
The Spartans will be back on the road next weekend as the team travels to Minneapolis, Minn., to take on the Golden Gophers on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m.