Feb. 9, 2004
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
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A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD
Michigan State gymnastics (5-9) hosts New Hampshire and George Washington Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in Jenison Field House. The meet marks MSU's first home meet since Jan. 9, and is the first of three consecutive meets at Jenison. New Hampshire comes to East Lansing with a 5-2 record, while GW is 6-2 overall.
CHECKING OUT NEW HAMPSHIRE & GEORGE WASHINGTON
NEW HAMPSHIRE: New Hampshire (5-2) scored a 195.625 against Pittsburgh on Jan. 31, the Wildcats' best team score this year. UNH also posted a 195.600 in a loss to Missouri earlier in January.
Head coach Gail Goodspeed is in her 25th season at the helm of UNH gymnastics. Amanda Hall, a sophomore all-arounder was named the conference (EAGL) gymnast of the week on Feb. 2. Hall and teammate Mariana Peņa Trestini posted 39.30 and 39.05 in the all-around in UNH's meet on Feb. 6, where the Wildcats defeated Texas Woman's and San Jose State.
GEORGE WASHINGTON: George Washington (6-2) has competed in just three meets this season. GW hosted the George Washington Invitational on Jan. 18, where it took second, was second at the Kentucky Invitational on Jan. 30, and posted a win (194.100) in a dual meet with William & Mary on Feb. 8. GW faces Maryland in a dual meet on Wednesday, Feb. 11 before arriving in East Lansing for Saturday's meet.
Head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham is in her 19th year at GW.
STRONG SHOWING AT STATE OF MICHIGAN CLASSIC
For the third consecutive week, Michigan State posted a score above 195.00, with a 195.525 at the State of Michigan Classic on Feb. 6. With NCAA Regional bids based on regional qualifying scores (RQS), the Spartans have helped themselves with three 195.00-plus road scores this season, and currently have an RQS of 194.285.
MSU BEAM NATIONALLY RANKED
The Spartan beam lineup is ranked No. 19 in the country on beam and third in the region with an average team score of 48.817. In the Central region, MSU has four gymnasts - Jaime Miles (ninth), Sarah Alexander (18th), Lauren Simpson (24th) and Julianna Karall (25th) - ranked among the top 25.
REGIONAL & NATIONAL RANKINGS
State is currently sixth in the Central region, with an average team score of 194.492, and 31st in the nation. The top 36 teams in the nation, as ranked by Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), are invited to compete in the NCAA Regionals, held April 3.
SEASON HIGHS SET AT STATE OF MICHIGAN CLASSIC
Kristin Merritt and Julianna Karall saw their first action of the season at the State of Michigan Classic on Feb. 6. Merritt scored a 9.800 on bars, while Karall's 9.700 on beam was a career best as well.
Additionally, freshmen Chayla HIll and Victoria Iakounina each recorded 9.875s on vault on Feb. 6, while junior Lauren Simpson scored a 9.850 on bars. All three scores are the top scores by a Spartan in those events this season.
INDIVIDUALS RANKED AMONG TOP 30 IN THE REGION
State has seven gymnasts ranked among the top 30 in all five events in the Central region. Sarah Alexander is 10th overall in the all-around, 18th on beam and 29th in the bars. Jaime Miles is ninth on beam and 28th on vault. Freshman Victoria Iakounina is listed 26th on bars, while classmate Chayla HIll is 30th on floor. Anna Hunsinger is 25th on floor. Lauren Simpson (24th) and Julianna Karall (25th) round out MSU's top 30 regional individuals.
ALEXANDER: ALL-AROUND CONSISTENCY
State sophomore co-captain Sarah Alexander has scored 39.250s in the all-around in each of the last three weeks.
REGIONAL TEAM & INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS
MSU is ranked sixth in the Central region (Feb. 2), with a team average of 194.285. In contrast to recent years, balance beam is clearly the Spartans' current strength, as MSU is third in the region in that event. State is eighth on bars, ninth on floor and 10th on vault.
Individually, MSU's Victoria Iakounina (24) and Sarah Alexander (28) are among the top 30 on bars. On beam, four Spartans are ranked among the top 30, including Jaime Miles (8), Alexander (22), Jennifer Yarbrough (T28) and Lauren Simpson (T28). Freshman Chayla HIll (24) and junior Anna Hunsinger (25) are MSU's two top 30 performers on floor, while Alexander is 11th in the regional all-around rankings.
MSU's team total average score is currently 32nd in the nation; this year, the Spartans face nine teams ranked in this week's top 25, and 13 teams that are currently ranked higher than State.
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. 19).
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:
Name Event Score Date Opponent
Alexander Beam 9.900 Jan. 31 at Michigan
Karall Beam 9.700 Feb. 6 at State of Michigan Classic (CMU, EMU, WMU)
Langhoff Vault 9.650 Jan. 25 at Illinois
Bars 9.700 Jan. 31 at Michigan
Floor 9.800 Jan. 23 at Florida (NCSU, UIC)
Merritt Bars 9.800 Feb. 6 at State of Michigan Classic (CMU, EMU, WMU)
Miles Beam 9.900 Jan. 9 LSU/ARIZONA/WESTERN MICHIGAN
Simpson Beam 9.875 Jan. 9 LSU/ARIZONA/WESTERN MICHIGAN
Yarbrough Beam 9.850 Jan. 25 LSU/ARIZONA/WESTERN MICHIGAN
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.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 220-111-2 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.
Currently ranked 10th in the Central region in the all-around (avg. 39.012)... Was MSU's only finisher in the top three of any event against Michigan (1/31), where she tied for the beam title (9.900), and tied for third on both floor and in the all-around... 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 four 9.675s to her name... Had a 9.800 on floor at Michigan (1/31)... 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 community 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 with 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)... 9.850 on floor at Michigan (1/31)... 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.
Competed in five meets for the Spartans before suffering a season-ending injury... Season-high 9.850 on beam came against Michigan (1/31)... Recorded a season-best 9.850 on floor at Illinois (1/25) to go along with a 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.
Ranked 26th on bars in the Central region... Competed in the all-around twice, with a career-best of 38.175 at Michigan (1/31)... 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.
Competed on beam at Michigan, posting a career-best 9.700... Did not compete in 2003... Business administration and pre-law major.
Leia Langhoff - Sophomore - Midland, Mich.
Set three career bests in 2004, with a 9.700 on bars at Michigan (1/31) 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)...2003 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.
Currently ranked ninth on beam in the Central region... Has recorded at least a 9.800 on beam in each of the last three meets... Set a career-best 9.900 on beam in MSU's first meet of 2004 (1/9)... Posted a 9.800 on beam at Florida (1/23) and 9.875 at Illinois (1/25)... 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.
Freshman from 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)... Posted a 9.8 on beam and a 9.725 on bars at Michigan (1/31)... 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 and 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.