March 22, 2014
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Michigan State gymnastics team competed against conference foes in the first session of the 2014 Big Ten Championships on Saturday on the campus of Penn State University. Though the Spartans battled through adversity, MSU posted a score of 194.500 to place eighth overall.
"It was a disappointing day," said head coach Kathie Klages. "We started out on floor and had a nice performance. I was really pleased with the rotation. Then we moved onto vault and Gillian Carr had a severe injury during touch warm ups and was forced to scratch. It really shook up our team. It hurt us quite a bit. We went to bars and had a fall. We hit the rest of the routines and did an Ok job. On balance beam, we had two of our gymnasts fall, so we had to count a fall on our final team score. We had some good gymnastics, but nobody had a superb day."
MSU started off by posting its highest score of the meet, posting a 49.125 on the floor exercise. Freshman Elena Lagoski led the Spartans by tying her season-high score of 9.900, earning the score for the fifth time this season, to place a team-high ninth overall. Tying for 30th, sophomore Lisa Burt and junior Alina Cartwright each recorded a 9.825 for MSU, while senior Dani Levy earned a 9.800 to tie for 37th overall.
The Spartans then moved on to the vault, where Michigan State earned a team total of 48.325. Cartwright posted the highest score for MSU, earning a 9.800 on the event to tie for 23rd overall. She was followed by Burt who tied for 29th with a score of 9.725, while Levy recorded a 9.700 to tie for 41st on the event.
In the third rotation, Michigan State competed on the bars and topped its season average by posting a score of 48.825. Leading the Spartans on the event was Burt, who posted a score of 9.850 to finish 14th place overall. Cartwright followed with a 9.775 for the Spartans to tie for 32nd place, while sophomore Brittany Holmes and junior Ashley Noll tied for 36th with a score of 9.750.
Michigan State ended the first session on the beam, having to count a fall to post a score of 48.225. Cartwright again led the Spartans on the event, earning a score of 9.825 to tie for 11th place. Senior Alex Pace tied for 15th overall as she recorded a score of 9.800, while Burt tied for 26th with a score of 9.775.
The Spartans will now await their fate to see if the team or individuals will qualify for the NCAA Regionals on Monday, March 24.