Feb. 27, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After a two-week road stretch, the Michigan State gymnastics team returns home on Friday, Feb. 28 to celebrate Senior Day against No. 21 Denver at 7 p.m. The meet will be held at Jenison Field House and will recognize the five members of the team who will be participating in their last home dual meet. A live video stream is offered for free at Spartan All-Access.
"We are happy to be back at home as it feels like we have been away for quite some time," said head coach Kathie Klages. "The comfort of the home crowd will feel great this weekend. The competition will be a great challenge for us. We have been striving to keep the energy up in the gym during practices, concentrating on the finer details of our routines in order to increase our scores. We hope to send off the seniors with a successful, energetic, highest score of the season type of way."
In the last home dual meet of the 2014 season, Michigan State will recognize the five senior members of the team on Friday night after the meet against Denver.
Gillian Carr, a native of Wexford, Pa., has been limited this season due to injury. She owns career-high scores of 9.80 on vault from last season against Penn State, a 9.275 on bars and a 9.750 against Anchorage-Alaska in 2012. Carr is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection who will graduate with a degree in economics.
The only Spartan competing in the all-around in 2012, Dani Levy placed in the event in five meets that season and totaled a career-high score of 39.125. Last season, her career-best score of 9.875 on floor earned her first-place honors, while she posted her personal-best 9.875 on beam with a runner-up finish against Michigan. The New Port Richey, Fla., native has twice been chosen as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree and will earn a degree in criminal justice.
Hailing from Bel Air, Md., Alex Pace earned her career-best score of 9.800 to win the beam title against Alaska-anchorage in 2012. Last season, she posted a personal-best score of 9.800 on the floor against Michigan. A NACGC/W Scholar All-American and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Pace will be graduating with a degree in sociology.
Serving as an undergraduate student coach this season, Kelsey Mazur was unable to compete for the Spartans the past two seasons due to injury. Her freshman season, the LaGrange, Ill., native posted a career-high of 9.800 on bars and floor and competed for the Spartans at the NCAA Regional. A NACGC/W Scholar All-American, Mazur will earn a degree in nutritional science.
In her second year as an undergraduate student coach, Serena Bumbarger has been medically disqualified from competing for the Spartans the past two seasons. Her personal-best 9.925 on the beam is currently tied for ninth in the Michigan State record book. A native of Seminole, Fla., Bumbarger has been chosen a NACGC/W Scholar All-American and Academic All-Big Ten honoree and is a pre-dental student at MSU.
Last Time Out
The Spartans posted their highest team total of the season last Friday at Western Michigan, however MSU dropped a close 194.775-195.00 decision to the Broncos.
Starting off the meet on the uneven bars, the Spartans won the event with a season-best average of 48.850. Alina Cartwright posted her second-straight 9.900 to win the vault, while Lisa Burt took first-place honors on the beam with a score of 9.850 to help give the Spartans a season-high average of 48.925. Earning her second win of the season in the all around competition, Burt posted a season-best total score of 39.250.
The Down-low on Denver
The Pioneers of Denver enter the meet this weekend ranked No. 21 in this week's national polls. The team also owns top-20 rankings on both the balance beam (No. 16, 48.815) and vault (No. 19, 48.980) and is coming off their fifth win of the season at Utah State as Denver posted a 195.875.
At the helm of the Pioneers is Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart, who is in her 15th season as head coach with a record of 253-132-2 record. Leading Denver is senior Moriah Martin who averages a season-high of 9.95 on vault, 9.925 on bars and an all-around score of 39.450.
The Spartans will hit the road again as the team travels to Cape Girardeau, Mo., to take on Southeast Missouri State on Friday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET