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Women's Gymnastics
MSU Gymnastics Travels to Michigan for First Road Meet
Senior Alex Pace and the Spartans head out on their first road trip of 2014.
Senior Alex Pace and the Spartans head out on their first road trip of 2014.

Jan. 30, 2014

EAST LANSING, Mich. - In the first road meet of the season, the Michigan State gymnastics team will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on in-state and conference rival Michigan on Friday, Jan. 31. Competition will begin at 7 p.m. at the Crisler Center as the meet will be the Wolverine’s first ever Autism Awareness Meet.

“It is always exciting and fun to go on your first road trip of the season,” said head coach Kathie Klages. “Even though it is only an hour bus ride away, we are excited to hit the competition floor again and see what this team can do. Michigan is a highly ranked, extremely talented team and I expect them to come out ready to perform at their best.” 

Last Time Out
At the Spartans fourth-annual ‘Flip For Autism’ Awareness meet, MSU hosted Penn State at Jenison Field House on Jan. 25. Though Alina Cartwright posted three career-bests against the Nittany Lions, the Spartans fell to Penn State 192.750-194.825.

Cartwright took first place on the vault and in the all-around competition, the second time she’s taken individual wins in the events this season. She tied her personal-best score on the vault, hitting a 9.95 for the win. With a career-best 9.875 on the floor, Cartwright compiled a personal-best all-around score of 39.325. Freshman Elena Lagoski took first-place on the floor exercise for the second time this season, tying her season-best score of 9.900.

Autism Awareness Meet
Following in MSU’s footsteps, Michigan will host its inaugural Autism Awareness meet at Friday’s competition. After the teams leave the floor following preliminary warm-ups, there will be an exhibition where gymnasts with autism and other special-needs athletes will perform. Men's gymnast and U.S. Olympian Sam Mikulak will also be on hand to sign autographs from 5:30-6:30 p.m.



“I am so pleased to see Michigan host an Autism Meet,” Klages said. “Dr. Larry Nassar, who created this concept and is the founder of the Gymnastics Doctor Autism Foundation, has done so much for the sport of gymnastics; it is nice to see people supporting his cause. I hope the Wolverines come out in full force to help this awesome foundation raise awareness about autism and of course, raise some dollars.”

MSU in the Rankings
The Spartans is currently 39th in the GymInfo national rankings with a team average of 193.142. MSU is No. 26 with an average floor exercise score of 48.742, while the team’s balance beam average score of 48.375 is tied for 29th. Both scores are also the sixth-best in the Big Ten conference.

Individually, Alina Cartwright is tied for 12th in the nation with her all-around average score of 39.300 and her average score of 9.900 on the vault is tied for 13th. In the conference, her vault score is the second-best average score this season and she is No. 4 in the all-around rankings.

Working Over the Wolverines
Tied for No. 4 in the country by GymInfo with a team average of 196.883, Michigan owns an undefeated 6-0 record on the season. The Wolverines also sit atop the Big Ten Conference, having defeated then-23rd ranked Ohio State last weekend 197.325-195.200.

Michigan State is 38-62 all-time against the Wolverines, with its last meeting ending in a 197.300-194.875 loss for the Spartans in East Lansing. Michigan is coached by Bev Plocki, who is in her 25th season at the helm of the Wolverines. Senior Joanna Sampson leads Michigan as she has won seven consecutive all-around titles during the regular season, dating back to the 2013 season. On vault, sophomore Austin Sheppard has won the event in each of the Wolverines’ first three competitions of 2014, scoring a 9.900 or higher.

Next Up
Continuing conference competition, MSU will host Iowa for the Eighth-Annual Jan Howard Memorial Breast Cancer Meet on Friday, Feb. 7 at Jenison Field House at 7 p.m.


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