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Women's Gymnastics
Spartan Gymnasts Set Season-Bests In State Of Michigan Classic
Sarah Alexander shared the event title on beam at the State of Michigan Classic on Friday.
Sarah Alexander shared the event title on beam at the State of Michigan Classic on Friday.

Feb. 6, 2004

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Sophomore all-arounder Sarah Alexander led Michigan State gymnastics to a third-place finish in the 2004 State of Michigan Classic in Ann Arbor Friday night. Michigan won the meet with a team score of 197.125, while Central Michigan finished second at 195.650. The Spartans' 195.525 was just behind the Chippewas for third, while Eastern Michigan (193.675) and Western Michigan (193.375) rounded out the competition. Alexander ended the night with a 39.250 in the all-around, good for third place, and tied for the event title on beam.

"Overall, I was pleased with our performance," said head coach Kathie Klages. "We didn't count a fall, and we stayed focused throughout the night. Despite some injuries that hurt a couple of our lineups, we were able to bounce back and get our third 195.00 in a row."

The Spartans started the night on floor and posted a 49.00 in the first rotation. Alexander led MSU with a 9.90, good for a tie for fourth place in the overall event standings. Nicole Anderson and Kristen Coleman each recorded 9.80s for the Spartans on floor. Coleman's score was a career best.

MSU sat out the second rotation, and posted a 48.825 on vault in the third, a season-best team score. Freshmen Victoria Iakounina and Chayla HIll tied for fourth place individually, as they scored 9.850s on the vault. Jaime Miles was MSU's next finisher with a 9.750 in her first vault competition of the season.

"We threw five 10.0 vaults tonight," Klages said. "We were a little shaky on some landings, but I was very happy with how our athletes stepped up to the challenge."

State recorded a 49.00 on bars in the fourth rotation, another season-best team score that was good for second in the event at the meet. Kristin Merritt saw her first action of the season and scored a 9.80 in the event, while Lauren Simpson recorded a 9.850, her second best score of the year, which was good for a tie for fourth place in the event.

In the final rotation, State scored a 48.70 on beam. Alexander led MSU with a 9.875, which tied for the event title. Miles and Simpson followed up her scores with a 9.775 and a 9.750, respectively. Julianna Karall saw the first competitive action of her career at MSU, and scored 9.700 in the event.

The Spartans return to action against New Hampshire and George Washington on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. The meet, in Jenison Field House on the Michigan State campus, is State's first home meet in more than a month and is the first of its final three home meets of the season.

1.  Michigan, 197.125
2. Central Michigan, 195.650
3. MICHIGAN STATE, 195.525
4. Eastern Michigan, 193.675
5. Western Michigan, 193.375
Vault (UM 49.225, EMU 48.850, MSU 48.825, CMU 48.375, WMU 48.275)
TOP THREE: 1. Calli Ryals, UM, 9.925;
2T. Elise Ray, UM, 9.875;
2T. Mattie Crawford, CMU, 9.875
Bars (UM 49.225, MSU 49.000, CMU 48.925, WMU 48.525, EMU 48.300)
TOP THREE: 1T. Lauren Mirkovich, UM, 9.900;
1T. Elise Ray, UM, 9.900;
1T. Calli Ryals, UM, 9.900
Beam (UM 49.075, CMU 48.975, MSU 48.700, WMU 48.100, EMU 47.725)
TOP THREE: 1T. Sarah Alexander, MSU, 9.875;
1T. Elise Ray, UM, 9.875;
1T. Sara Burtinsky, CMU, 9.875
Floor (UM 49.450, CMU 49.375, MSU 49.000, EMU 48.800, WMU 48.475)
TOP THREE: 1. Kara Reighard, CMU, 9.950;
2T. Elise Ray, UM, 9.925;
2T. Calli Ryals, UM, 9.925
1. Elise Ray, UM, 39.575; 2. Kara Reighard, CMU, 39.350; 3T. Sarah Alexander, MSU, 39.250




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