MSU Gymnastics Faces Tough Competition In Weekend Travel
The Spartans will compete in Florida on Friday and Illinois on Sunday.
Jan. 20, 2004
A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD- The Spartans (2-3) travel to Florida Friday, Jan. 23 and Illinois Sunday, Jan, 25 to continue road competition for the 2004 season. Friday's meet is set for 7 p.m., while Sunday's meet will start at 2 p.m. The Spartans join the hosting Gators (5-0) and Illinois-Chicago (0-5) in a three-way meet at Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. Friday. In the first dual meet, MSU takes on the Fighting Illini at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill.
CHECKING OUT FLORIDA- No. 8 in the preseason GymInfo coached poll, the Gators return five letterwinners from its 2003 squad that finished third in the Southeastern Conference, second at NCAA Central Regionals and seventh at the NCAA Championships. Head coach Rhonda Faehn is in her second year. The Spartans and Gators last met in 1993 at Florida, where Alabama placed first with a team score of 189.250, UF placed second, Michigan third and State fourth. The Gators hold a 9-0 all-time record against the Spartans.
CHECKING OUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE- The Wolfpack finished the 2003 season 22-6 overall and finished the regular season in the top 25. The Wolfpack returns six seniors and five underclassmen to the 2004 squad under the direction of 24th- year head coach Mark Stevenson. The Wolfpack currently holds a 2-0 record against Michigan State, after last meeting in 2000 at Missouri.
CHECKING OUT ILLINOIS-CHICAGO- The Flames finished the 2003 season setting numerous school marks and advancing to the NCAA South Central Regional Championships. Junior Alyson Cacciator and sophomore Veronique Meunier lead UIC in 2004. The Spartans hold a 12-2 all-time record against the Flames, after last meeting in 2002 at the Spartan Invitational, where State finished first of four teams with an overall score of 195.700.
CHECKING OUT ILLINOIS- No. 21 in the preseason GymInfo coached poll, The Fighting Illini return eight letterwinners from their 2003 squad that finished just shy of the NCAA Regionals. Illinois is directed by fifth-year head coach Bob Starkell and co-captained by second-team All-Big Ten honorees Kara Kapernekas and Ashley Williams. I dual meet competition, the Spartans and the Fighting Illini last met in 2003 in East Lansing, with Illinois winning with an overall score of 194.900, but State continues to hold a 24-10 all-time record against the Illinois.
FRESHMEN STEPPING UP- Chayla HIll and Victoria Iakounina each claimed a share of the event titles on vault and bars as Michigan State gymnastics finished second at Central Michigan against the Chippewas and Illinois State Sunday. On vault, Hill scored a career-best 9.775 in her second collegiate meet, tying CMU's Kara Reighard for the title. Iakounina tied Central Michigan's Sara Burtinsky for her first collegiate event title on bars, as she scored a career-best 9.775 and was again MSU's top scorer, taking third place on the beam with a 9.800.
BEING A LEADER- Spartan juniors lead their team by scoring big for State in 2004. At Central Michigan, Jennifer Yarbrough finished third on the bars with a score of 9.750, while Anna Hunsinger and Lauren Simpson both recorded 9.725s on the beam for the Spartans. To keep it going, Hunsinger posted a 9.800 on the floor, recording a season-best score that was good for third place overall.
CHANGING SPARTAN HISTORY- In the first meet of 2004, Michigan State recorded the third-best score in school history on the beam. MSU recorded its beam score of 49.250 by sweeping the top three balance beam places. Jaime Miles won the event title with a 9.900, while Sarah Alexander and Lauren Simpson tied for second with 9.875s.
SETTING PERSONAL BEST MARKS- Spartan gymnasts show their determination in being the best by setting individual personal best marks at season opener. Sophomore Jamie Miles didn't only win event title to help sweep the beam at last week's competition with a score of 9.900, she also tied the MSU seventh-best individual beam score. Spartan Sarah Alexander tied her career best on the beam with a score of 9.875, while Lauren Simpson whom set her career-high as 9.875
PRE-SEASON RANKINGS- The Spartans were not ranked in the 2004 preseason coaches poll, but received votes that would place them 34th in the country.
2003 TEAM SUCCESS- The Spartan gymnasts set a school record with a team score of 196.575 against Michigan and Pittsburgh on March 22, 2003. That score helped pace State to an average team score of 194.581 on the season. The Spartans also entered five other marks in the top 25 team scores all-time at MSU, and added 21 more scores to the all-time top 25 lists of vault, bars, beam and floor scores.
SPARTAN INVITATIONAL STREAK CONTINUES- The 2003 gymnasts won their fourth consecutive Spartan Invitational title, as MSU defeated Illinois on Feb. 22 in Jenison Field House, 194.900-193.600.
HUGE WIN IN 2003 State's 195.075-193.900 win against Michigan at the State of Michigan Classic in Jenison Field House on Feb. 2 last year marked the first time in more than four years that UM lost to a Big Ten team. The Spartans' win snapped Michigan's streak of 40 consecutive wins against Big Ten opponents.
SMART OUTSIDE THE GYM, TOO- The Spartans' team grade-point average of 3.469 was the 10th best in the nation, and seven gymnasts earned National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) Academic All-American honors in 2003. 2003 senior Ilene Cohen became just the second Spartan to earn NACGC/W academic honors in each of her four years at State. Teammates Julie Devaty, Anna Hunsinger, Lauren Simpson and Lindsey Voth were all repeat honorees, while Diana Crea and Leia Langhoff made the list for the first time in their careers. Additionally, eight Spartans Cohen, Devaty, Hunsinger, Kristin Merritt, Kristina Peterson, Simpson, Voth and Jennifer Yarbrough ???QUOTE] were named to the 2003 Academic All-Big Ten team.
REGIONAL STRENGTH- State competes in one of the toughest regions in the country in the Central Region, with regional teams from Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Auburn.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK - Freshmen Chayla HIll and Victoria Iakounina each claimed a share of the event titles on vault and bars as Michigan State gymnastics finished second at Central Michigan against the Chippewas and Illinois State. CMU won the meet with a team score of 193.975, MSU was second at 193.025 and Illinois State posted a 188.625. On vault, Hill scored a career-best 9.775 in her second collegiate meet. Iakounina tied Central Michigan's Sara Burtinsky for her first collegiate event title on bars, as she scored a career-best 9.775. MSU junior Jennifer Yarbrough wasn't far off Iakounina's score, with a 9.750, good for third place in the event. The Spartans finished second on beam, with Iakounina was again MSU's top scorer, taking third place with a 9.800. Juniors Anna Hunsinger and Lauren Simpson both recorded 9.725s for the Spartans. On floor, Hunsinger posted a 9.800, a season-best score good for third place overall MSU???sup>TMs Hill was second among the Spartans with a 9.775, while Nicole Anderson recorded a 9.750.
HEAD COACH Kathie Klages-- Head coach Kathie Klages (Central Michigan '77) is in her 14th season at the helm of Michigan State gymnastics. In that time, she has posted a 217-105-2 record, good for a .673 winning percentage. Her teams have participated in seven NCAA Regional Championships in her time at State, including 2002 and 2003. In 2003, MSU finished fifth at the regional. Klages was named NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year in 2000, 1998, 1996 and 1993. She earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1996. She is a member of the National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges and holds a National ranking.
Sarah Alexander- Sophomore co-captain from Kernersville, N.C... Named first-team All-Big Ten in 2003... MSU's leading all-arounder in 2003, she earned a first-place finish in the all-around with a 39.425, a new career best and the second-highest score in school history (2/22/03), and tied the score on March 1... Set career highs at Pittsburgh (3/15/03) on vault with a 9.900 and tied her career high on bars (9.875) at the same meet... Matched the school record and won the event title on floor against Michigan and Pittsburgh on (3/22/03)... Earned a 9.825 in her debut vault against Oregon State and Auburn (1/10/03)... In 2004, at MSU season opener she scored a 9.625 on the vault, placed second on the beam with a score of 9.875 and posted a 9.075 in the floor exercise...At Central Michigan, she posted 9.675 on the bars and 9.250 on the beam...Kinesiology major.
Nicole Anderson- Junior from Kenosha, Wis...Posted a career-best score of 9.800 on the vault at Ohio State (1/25/03)... Also claimed third place on the vault (9.800) and second place on the floor exercise (9.850) at Ohio State (1/25/03)... Tied for second and set a career best on the floor exercise (9.875) in the State of Michigan Classic (2/2/03)... Scored a 9.875 on floor to tie her career best against Ball State and Central Michigan (3/1/03)...In 2004, she posted 9.675 on the vault and 9.625 on the floor exercise at MSU season opener... At Central Michigan, at vault she posted a 9.650 abd placed fifth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.750...Family conmmunity services major.
Kristen Coleman- Freshman from Cornwall, Ontario... In 2004 at MSU season opener, she posted 9.625 on vault and 9.175 on bars...Set career-high score of 9.650 in the vault and 9.625 in floor exercise in second collegiate meet as a Spartan... .Kinesiology major.
Chayla HIll- Freshman from Hudson, Ohio...In 2004 season opener at MSU, she posted a 9.125 on vault, and 9.750 on floor exercise...Posted career-high score of 9.775s in the vault and floor exercises in second collegiate meet as a Spartan...No-preference major.
Anna Hunsinger- Junior from Elizabethtown, Ky... Tied for third on floor with a career-high score of 9.900 against Michigan and Pittsburgh (3/22/03)... Earned a career-best 9.800 on vault at the State of Michigan Classic (2/2/03)... Posted a 9.875 on floor to claim a share of the event title against Illinois (2/22/03)... Finished third in the all-around with a season-high 38.900 at Ohio State (1/25/03)... NACGC/W Academic All-America in 2002 and 2003...Academic All-Big Ten in 2003... In 2004 at MSU opener, she posted 9.250 on beam...Posted a 9.550 on vault, 9.725 on beam and 9.800 on floor exercise at Central Michigan...Kinesiology major.
Victoria Iakounina- Freshman from Woodbridge, Va... Set career-high score in vault with a score of 9.675 in first collegiate meet of season, set career-high scores of 9.775 in beam, 9.800 in floor exercise and 9.255 in all-around at CMU...No-preference major.
Julianna Karall- Sophomore from Chicago, Ill... Did not compete in 2003... Has not compete in 2004...Business administration and pre-law major.
Leia Langhoff- Sophomore from Midland, Mich... Set a career-high 9.625 on vault at the Fox Run Invitational (2/15/03)... NACGC/W Academic All-America honoree... In 2004 she posted a 9.625 in vault and 9.675 in bars at MSU season opener...At Central Michigan, she posted a 9.600 in vault and 9.550 on beam...No-preference major with plans to major in geology.
Kelli Maxwell- Freshman from Grand Ledge, Mich... Has not compete in 2004.. .Kinesiology major.
Kristin Merritt- Junior from Racine, Wis... Tied for fourth with a career-best 9.850 on the bars in the State of Michigan Classic (2/2/03)... Finished in a tie for fourth on the bars (9.800) at Iowa (2/8/03).. .Set a season high of 9.700 on beam against Illinois (2/22/03)... Academic All-Big Ten in 2003...Has not competed in 2004....I... Kinesiology major.
Jaime Miles Sophomore from Sterling Heights, Mich... Set a career-best 9.900 on beam in MSU's first meet of 2004 (1/9)... Competed as an all-around performer several times in 2003... Posted a then-career-best 9.775 on the balance beam at the Rutgers Quad Meet (3/8/03)... In 2004 at MSU opener, she posted a career -high score on beam of 9.900 and finished the floor exercise with a score of 9.375...Kinesiology major.
Jaclyn O'Brien- Freshman from Hartland, Mich.. Has not compete in 2004... Kinesiology major.
Jenna Rivers- Freshman from Hauppauge, N.Y.. Has not compete in 2004... General business/pre-law major.
Lauren Simpson- Junior from Linden, Mich... Earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2003... Competed in the all-around in nine meets... Set career-best scores on every event in 2003... Posted a new career-high all-around score of 39.250 and balance beam 9.825 against Michigan and Pittsburgh (3/22/03)... Set career-best floor against Ball State and Central Michigan (3/1/03)... Won vault title with a career-high 9.850 at the Rutgers Quad meet (3/8/03)... Career-best bars score (9.850) earned second place against Illinois (2/22/03)...Took second in the all-around at the Rutgers Quad Meet with a 39.050 (3/8/03) and witha a 38.825 at Pittsburgh (3/15/03)... Academic All-Big Ten in 2003... NACGC/W Academic All-America honoree in 2002 and 2003... In 2004 at MSU season opener, she set a career-high score of 9.875 on beam and finished the bars with a score of 9.800, beam as 9.875 and floor as 9.250...At Central Michigan, she posted a 9.100 on bars and 9.725 on beam...Lyman Briggs School zoology major.
Lindsey Voth- Senior from Sarasota, Fla... Competed on vault seven times in 2003, and beam once... Also saw action as an exhibition performer on vault, beam and floor several times... Earned a season-best score of 9.725 on vault against Central Michigan and Ball State (3/1/03)... Twice honored as an NACGC/W Academic All-America selection (2002 & 2003)... Earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2002 and 2003... Has not competed in 2004...Kinesiology major.
Jennifer Yarbrough- Junior from Williamston, Mich... Scored 9.800 on the uneven bars against Illinois (2/22/03), Ball State and Central Michigan (3/1/03) and Pittsburgh (3/15/03)... Set a career-high score of 9.900 on the uneven bars to tie for second place against Michigan and Pittsburgh (3/22/03)... NACGC/W Academic All-America honors in 2003... 2003 Academic All-Big Ten accolades... In 2004 at MSU season opener, she posted a 9.700 on bars, 9.825 on beam and 9.150 on f loor exercise...Posted a 9.750 on bars, 9.300 on beam and 9.725 on floor exercise at Central Michigan...Business/pre-law major.