Feb. 14, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team will head back out on the road as the Spartans prepare for another Big Ten match up against Minnesota. The meet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. Fans can tune into the live stream on Gopher All-Access (fee required).
Last Time Out
In front of a season-high attendance, MSU earned its first win of the season at the Eighth Annual Jan Howard Memorial `Flip for a Cure' Breast Cancer Awareness Meet. The Spartans used their highest balance beam score of 2014 to tie their season-high team total and top the Iowa Hawkeyes 194.150-193.750.
Though Michigan State struggled on vault and bars to kickoff the meet, but bounced back strong to tally a 48.900 on balance beam, the highest team score on the event this season.
The Spartans picked up four season-best performances, including Mackenzie Smith on bars (9.700) and Alex Pace (9.800), Holly Ryan (9.800) and Ashley Noll (9.775) on beam. Alina Cartwright also picked up three first-place finishes on the vault, balance beam and floor by posting 9.825 on each event. She also tied teammate Elena Lagoski for first on floor.
MSU In the Rankings
The Spartans are currently 42nd in the GymInfo national rankings with a team average of 193.495. MSU is No. 25 with an average balance beam score of 48.545, while the team's floor exercise average score of 48.645 is ranked 34th
Individually, Alina Cartwright is tied for 29th in the nation with her all-around average score of 39.169 and her average score of 9.875 on the vault is tied for 25th. In the conference, her vault score is the third-best average score this season and she is No. 5 overall in the all-around rankings.
Getting to know the Golden Gophers
Minnesota is coming off a conference win at No. 21 Ohio State, posting a 196.025 - 105.900 victory over the Buckeyes. It marked the fourth meet of the season in which the Golden Gophers have scored above 196.000. With the fifth-best score in the nation, Minnesota's best event comes on the floor exercise as it owns a 49.288 average.
The Golden Gophers are led by sophomore Lindsay Marble, who was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week after trying her school record all-around score of 39.600 against Illinois on Jan. 26. At the helm, Meg Stephenson is in her fourth year as head coach, but has been on the Minnesota coaching staff for 19 seasons.
The Spartans will continue with back-to-back road meets as the team travels to Kalamazoo, Mich., to take on the Broncos of Western Michigan on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.