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Women's Gymnastics
Gymnastics Heads To Michigan For Saturday Meet
Sophomore co-captain Sarah Alexander led MSU to its season-best score of 195.425 at Illinois Jan. 25.
Sophomore co-captain Sarah Alexander led MSU to its season-best score of 195.425 at Illinois Jan. 25.

Jan. 29, 2004


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LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD The Spartans (3-6) travel to Michigan (1-2) Saturday, Jan. 31 in State's second dual meet of the season. Meet time is set for 7 p.m. at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich.

CHECKING OUT MICHIGAN The No. 17 Wolverines return six All-Americans to the 2004 squad that finished the 2003 season at first in the Big Ten Conference and NCAA Northeast Regionals, while finishing fifth at NCAA Super Six Team Finals. Michigan head coach Beverly Plocki is in her 14th year.

UM defeated then-No. 17 Minnesota on Jan. 17 and lost to No. 7 Nebraska and No. 6 Iowa. The Wolverines scored a season-best 196.375 at Iowa on Jan. 24. Senior Calli Ryals and junior Elise Ray finished second and third in the all-around at Iowa, as Ray won vault and tied with Ryals for second on floor. Ryals was third on vault. Freshman Lindsey Bruck and junior Chelsea Kroll tied for the beam title with 9.900s.

In 2003, the Spartans and Wolverines met at the Michigan Classic , where State finished first among five teams with a team score of 195.075. Central Michigan was second, Michigan took third, Eastern Michigan fourth and Western Michigan finished fifth. The Wolverines hold a 27-25 all-time record against the Spartans.

STRONG SHOWING AT ILLINOIS MSU recorded a 195.425 on Jan. 25 at Illinois, tying the 13th-best all-time team score in Michigan State history. The Spartans' team event scores of 48.600 on vault, 48.775 on bars and 49.325 on floor were their team highs of the season. MSU scored 49.250 on beam in the season opener, the third-best all-time team beam score in State history.

FRESHMEN STEP IN TO CONTRIBUTE State freshmen Kristen Coleman, Chayla HIll and Victoria Iakounina have had an immediate impact on the Spartans' results. The three have combined for seven top-three event finishes this season, including Iakounina's bars and beam titles at Central Michigan (1/18). Additionally, Hill and Coleman tied for the vault title at Illinois on Jan. 25.

MSU BEAM NATIONALLY RANKED The Spartans are ranked No. 18 in the country on beam and third in the region with a team score average of 48.08.

ALEXANDER RETURNS TO ALL-AROUND Sophomore Sarah Alexander, who competed in the all-around in every meet as a freshman, sat out vault and floor on Jan. 18 and vault on Jan. 23 before returning to State's all-around lineup against Illinois on Jan. 25. She recorded a 39.250 then, MSU's first all-around score that bested the 39.00 mark in 2004.

FRESHMAN KEEPS IT GOING At Florida, State freshman Victoria Iakounina was the Spartans' top scorer in two events for the second week in a row. On vault, Iakounina's 9.800 was State's best, while she was MSU's top finisher on bars with a score of 9.725.

HILL STEPS UP ON VAULT & FLOOR Freshman Chayla HIll has recorded at least a 9.750 on vault in each of the last three meets, including a 9.825 at Illinois on Jan. 25. Additionally, she has not scored below 9.750 on floor in her four career collegiate meets. Hill posted a 9.900 at Illinois on Jan. 25, taking second to teammate Sarah Alexander.

SPARTAN SEASON SUPERLATIVES Five MSU returnees have set or tied career-best scores in 2004. Sarah Alexander, Leia Langhoff, Jaime Miles, Lauren Simpson and Jennifer Yarbrough either bested or tied the following career marks:

Alexander	Beam	9.875	Jan. 9
Langhoff	Vault	9.650	Jan. 25
		Bars	9.675	Jan. 9
		Floor	9.800	Jan. 23
Miles		Beam	9.900	Jan. 9
Simpson		Beam	9.875	Jan. 9
Yarbrough	Beam	9.850	Jan. 25

QUALIFIED RETURNEES The Spartans return eight letterwinners from last year's squad, including 2003 All-Big Ten selections Sarah Alexander (first team) and Lauren Simpson (second team).

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 - 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 (No. 1), LSU (No. 14), Auburn (No. 16) and Kent State (No. 24).

RECAPPING LAST WEEK On Friday, Jan. 23, Michigan State gymnastics finished third of four teams at No. 3 Florida. State freshman Victoria Iakounina was the top scorer for the Spartans in two events for the second week in a row. The Spartans finished the competition in third place with a 194.474, while the Gators finished first (197.225), North Carolina State was second (194.875) and Illinois-Chicago took fourth (192.675).
On vault, Victoria Iakounina's 9.800 was State's top score. On bars, Iakounina was again State's top scorer with a 9.725, while Kristen Coleman and Sarah Alexander both posted 9.625s. MSU posted a team score of 48.900 on balance beam, tying the Spartans for second with N.C. State in the event. Yarbrough, Miles and Alexander all recorded 9.800s. Alexander, Chayla HIll and Anna Hunsinger all scored 9.825s on floor.
On Sunday, Jan. 25, Alexander captured the all-around title with a score of 39.250 and took the floor exercise with a season-high score in Michigan State gymnastics' dual meet competition with Illinois. Although MSU lost to the Fighting Illini, 195.700-195.425, State's score tied as the 13th best in MSU history.
Coleman, Hill and Illinois' Danye Botterman tied for the event title on vault at 9.825. In another three-way title tie, this one on bars, Alexander, Jennifer Yarbrough and Illinois' Kara Kapernekas posted 9.825s. Sophomore Jamie Miles tied UI's Kapernekas and Cara Pomeroy for first place on beam with 9.875s. On floor, Alexander and Hill took the top spots, scoring 9.925 and 9.900, respectively.

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 218-108-2 record, good for a .667 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 - Kernersville, N.C. Won the floor (9.925) and all-around (39.250) titles at Illinois (1/25)... Had a 9.825 on floor at Florida (1/23)...Took second on the beam with a score of 9.875 in the season opener (1/9)... 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)... Kinesiology major.

Nicole Anderson - Junior - Kenosha, Wis. Tied her career-best floor score with a 9.875 at Illinois (1/25)... Has recorded at least a 9.650 on vault in four meets, and has three 9.675s to her name... In 2003, she 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)... Family conmmunity services major.

Kristen Coleman - Freshman - Cornwall, Ontario Tied for the event title with a career-best 9.825 on vault at Illinois (1/25)... Also set a career high on bars at Illinois iwth a 9.775 (1/25)... Scored 9.650 on vault in her second collegiate meet at Central Michigan (1/18)... Kinesiology major.

Chayla Hill - Freshman - Hudson, Ohio Career-best 9.825 on vault came at Illinois (1/25), where she earned a share of the event title with teammate Kristen Coleman... Recorded a 9.90 on floor at Illinois (1/25)... Posted 9.750 on vault and 9.825 on floor at Florida (1/23)... Recorded a 9.750 on floor exercise in her collegiate debut (1/9)... No-preference major.

Anna Hunsinger - Junior - Co-Captain - Elizabethtown, Ky. Has competed in all four meets for the Spartans... Recorded a season-best 9.850 on floor at Illinois (1/25) to go along with a season-best 9.800 on beam... Posted a 9.725 on beam and 9.800 on floor exercise at Central Michigan (1/18)... In 2003 she 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... Kinesiology major.

Victoria Iakounina - Freshman - Woodbridge, Va. Set career-bests of 9.800 on vault and 9.800 on bars at Florida (1/23) and Illinois (1/25), respectively... Season and career bests on beam (9.800) and floor (9.225) came at Central Michigan (1/18)... No-preference major.

Julianna Karall - Sophomore - Chicago, Ill. Has not competed in 2004... Did not compete in 2003... Business administration and pre-law major.

Leia Langhoff - Sophomore - Midland, Mich. Set three career bests in 2004, with a 9.675 on bars (1/9) and a 9.650 on vault and 9.800 on floor at Florida (1/23)... Set a then-career high on vault with a 9.625 at the Fox Run Invitational (2/15/03)... NACGC/W Academic All-America honoree... ...No-preference major with plans to major in geology.

Kelli Maxwell - Freshman - Grand Ledge, Mich. Has not competed in 2004.. .Kinesiology major.

Kristin Merritt - Junior - Racine, Wis. Has not competed in 2004... 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... Kinesiology major.

Jaime Miles - Sophomore - Sterling Heights, Mich. Posted a 9.800 on beam at Florida (1/23) and 9.875 at Illinois (1/25)... 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...Kinesiology major.

Jaclyn O'Brien - Freshman - Hartland, Mich. Has not competed in 2004... Kinesiology major.

Jenna Rivers - Freshman - Hauppauge, N.Y. Has not competed in 2004... General business/pre-law major.

Lauren Simpson - Junior - Linden, Mich. Set a career-high score of 9.875 on beam in the season opener to go along with a 9.800 on bars (1/9)... 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 with a 38.825 at Pittsburgh (3/15/03)... Academic All-Big Ten in 2003... NACGC/W Academic All-America honoree in 2002 and 2003... .Lyman Briggs School zoology major.

Lindsey Voth - Senior - Sarasota, Fla. Has not competed in 2004... 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 - Williamston, Mich. Set a career best on beam at Illinois (1/25) with a 9.850... Had a 9.825 on bars at Illinois (1/25)... Recorded a 9.725 on floor exercise at Central Michigan (1/18)... Posted a 9.825 on beam against LSU, Arizona & Western Michigan (1/9)... 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... Business/pre-law major.




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