Gymnastics Set To Host State of Michigan Classic
The Spartans will host the annual State of Michigan Classic on Sunday, Feb. 2.  The meet is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., in Jenison Field House.
The Spartans will host the annual State of Michigan Classic on Sunday, Feb. 2. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., in Jenison Field House.

Jan. 30, 2003

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Michigan State (0-4, 0-1 Big Ten) will return to action at Jenison Field House on Sunday, Feb. 2, when they host the annual State of Michigan Classic at 4:30 p.m. Joining the Spartans will be Central Michigan (8-0, 2-0 MAC, Eastern Michigan (0-2, 0-1 MAC), No. 11 Michigan (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten) and Western Michigan (0-3, 0-2 MAC) for a five-team meet that represents both the Big Ten and Mid-American Conferences.

The Michigan State gymnastics team suffered a narrow defeat to Ohio State on Saturday, Jan. 25, in Columbus, Ohio. The Spartans posted a season high team score of 195.175, but the Buckeyes edged ahead with a mark of 195.875. Along with the new season best overall score, MSU posted season highs on the uneven bars (48.750), balance beam (48.725) and floor exercise (48.975).

Michigan State posted a first- and second-place finish on the uneven bars as Spartan senior Diana Crea (Beaver Falls, Pa.) won the event with a season best score of 9.900. Freshman Sarah Alexander (Kernersville, N.C.) claimed second, with a 9.850.

While Michigan State garnered a top two finish from Diana Crea and Sarah Alexander on the uneven bars, the Spartans also earned top-three finishes from three other gymnasts. Nicole Anderson (Kenosha, Wis.) claimed third on the vault (9.800), while receiving a nod for second place on the floor exercise (9.850) with senior Julie Devaty (North Olmstead, Ohio). Sophomore Anna Hunsinger (Elizabethtown, Ky.) finished third in the all-around with a score of 38.900.

Four Spartans scored new individual season-bests in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend. Along with Diana Crea's 9.900 first-place finish on the bars, Anna Hunsingerposted a 38.900 in the all-around to account for the best total score by a MSU gymnast this season. Julie Devaty and Nicole Anderson tied for second on the floor exercise with team season-best scores of 9.850.

Nearly every Spartan that competed on Jan. 25 at Ohio State posted a season-best score on at least one event, while four gymnasts tallied career-high marks. Diana Crea matched her career high of 9.900 on the uneven bars, while a trio of first-year gymnasts continued to improve on their marks. Freshman Sarah Alexander posted a new best on the uneven bars (9.850), while classmate Leia Langhoff tallied a 9.600 on the vault for her top score of the season. Redshirt freshman Nicole Anderson tabbed two new highs on the vault (9.800) and floor (9.850).

Sophomore Anna Hunsinger posted season-best marks in every event and in the all-around. Her score of 9.750 on the balance beam was just .025 shy of her personal-best score. Lauren Simpson (Fenton, Mich.) matched her season best on the vault, while senior Julie Devaty hit a season high 9.850 on the floor exercise, just .050 away from her career best. Ilene Cohen (Wantaugh, N.Y.), Kristin Merritt (Racine, Wis.) and Lindsay Voth(Sarasota, Fla.) also notched new season-best marks.

Freshman Sarah Alexander continues to make an impression on the Spartans during her initial year. Alexander, who finished second on the vault in the season opener, tied for first-place on the beam with a score of 9.850 at Iowa State. The win on the balance beam was Alexander's first collegiate event win. Against Ohio State, Alexander posted a second-place mark on the uneven bars with a 9.850, en route to a fourth-place finish in the all-around (37.975).

The Spartans are currently ranked second on the uneven bars in the Big Ten Conference with a season average score of 48.683...The Spartans are also ranked fifth in the conference on the vault (48.375 avg)...Sarah Alexander is tied for third in the league on the uneven bars (9.800 avg.)...She is also ranked eighth on the balance beam (9.775 avg.), while teammates Ilene Cohen and Christy Linder (Fremont, Ohio) are tied for ninth (9.759 avg.)...Anna Hunsinger is ranked sixth in the all-around with a 38.900 mark.

Perhaps even more impressive than the athletic achievements of the Spartans' 2002 squad were their academic accomplishments. The National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches named seven members of the team -Ilene Cohen, Julie Devaty, Dana Herr (Phoenixville, Pa.), Anna Hunsinger, Kristina Petersen (Saginaw, Mich.), Lauren Simpson, and Lindsey Voth- Academic All-Americans for Women. Michigan State's seven award recipients are the most ever for the squad, surpassing the four honorees from the 2000-01 academic year. As a squad, the women's gymnastics team posted a 3.49 GPA last season - the best ever for a Spartan gymnastics team.

You have to play the best. That's the motto of Kathie Klages when she schedules the Spartans' competition. Four of Michigan State's remaining opponents are ranked in the Jan. 27 edition of the GymInfo Top-25 and two of its previous opponents also have a place among the leaders. Four of the Spartans' six Big Ten opponents are listed in the poll, including No. 11 Michigan, whom MSU will face three times this season.

The Spartans finished second at the State of Michigan Classic last year, scoring a 193.650. Michigan claimed the Classic title (196.300), while Eastern Michigan finished third with a mark of 192.200. Central Michigan (191.300) and Western Michigan (189.925) rounded out the team finishes, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Spartans return to the road next weekend for a Big Ten match-up with No. 19 Iowa on Saturday, Feb. 8, in Iowa City, Iowa. The meet is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the Carver Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes are 0-2 this season, leading into a Jan. 31 matchup with instate rival Iowa State.