Jan. 10, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team will begin the 2013 season on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Jenison Field House as it hosts in-state rival Western Michigan University.
"We are really excited to get our season started," said head coach Kathie Klages. "We are a sport that actually begins training four-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week in the middle of September; that long preseason is one that drags on and it can get very difficult to stay focused on what we want to get accomplished. Finally it's time, the season is here and we are really thrilled."
Freshmen Lisa Burt and Nicola Deans were selected as Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch. Both freshman Spartans have made an immediate impact on the Spartan lineup. In scrimmages this season, Burt led the Spartans in both competitions' all-around. She also led MSU with a 9.750 on uneven bars in the scrimmage against Michigan. Deans scored a 9.775 on vault in a three-way Spartan tie.
The Spartan lineup this season consists of eight freshman, four sophomores, four juniors and one senior. Senior Taira Neal was named to the second-team All-Big Ten last season and appointed captain for the 2013 season. This is the first captain for the Michigan State gymnastics team in six years.
The Broncos were picked second in the MAC preseason poll. Returning for WMU are both Caroline O'Brien and Lauren Bledsoe who competed at NCAA Regionals last season. O'Brien tied for 23rd on uneven bars, scoring 9.775.