No. 19 Spartan Gymnastics Ready for Busy Weekend of Competition
Feb. 28, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team is scheduled for a pair of meets this weekend, beginning with a road contest at No. 8 LSU on Friday night at 7 p.m., which ends the Spartans three-meet road trip. MSU returns for a Sunday tri-meet at Jenison Field House against Ball State and Western Michigan, set for 5 p.m.
The Spartans remained at No. 19 in the latest GymInfo national ranking with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 194.490 and a team average of 194.343. The numbers also rank MSU fourth in the Central region (trailing No. 5 Alabama, No. 8 LSU and No. 12 Auburn) and second in the Big Ten Conference, behind only No. 4 Michigan.
Michigan State is in the top 30 nationally in each event. The Spartans are 17th on the beam with a 48.625 RQS and have their highest RQS on the vault with a 48.795 to stand in 19th. On the bars, they rank 24th with a 48.530 RQS, while also placing 28th on the floor at 48.525.
Sophomore Rochelle Robinson won the vault in the first two meets and returned to the podium in the last two meets. With her four individual wins this season, Robinson has at least a share of first in 11 of 20 career starts on the vault and has been a top-three finisher in 16 of those meets. Her RQS of 9.855 moves her up to a tie for 17th in the nation, and third in the region and second in the conference.
LSU (8-3) is currently ranked No. 8 in the GymInfo ranking with a RQS of 196.000. They are also among the top-10 nationally in three of the four events, ranking fourth on the vault (49.220), seventh on the floor (49.065) and eighth on the bars (49.075). Junior Ashleigh Clare-Kearney has been an all-around wonder, ranking second in the country in the all-around (39.475) and on the vault (9.935), while also tying for eighth on the beam (9.850), 13th on the bars (9.865) and 16th on the floor (9.860). The Tigers are coming off a pair of losses at No. 3 Florida and at home against No. 4 Alabama.
MSU trails LSU 16-3 in the all-time series. They last met at the 2007 NCAA Central Regional with the Tigers placing second and the Spartans fifth. MSU has not beaten LSU in seven meets in Baton Rouge. LSU won the first 12 meetings with the first coming at the 1985 NCAA Central Regionals.
Ball State (0-7) is 54th in the country with a team RQS of 187.540. Senior Kristin Sprague (floor) and Ashley Jacob (bars) each won an individual title last weekend against Eastern Michigan.
Western Michigan (3-8) is 47th in the nation with a team RQS of 190.430. The Broncos ended a losing streak on Sunday with a win over Bowling Green. Senior Courtney Lesson won the vault for the third straight meet and was the all-around champion for the second consecutive time. Freshman Kristine Garbarino tied for first on the bars.
MSU has yet to lose to either the Cardinals or the Broncos. The Spartans are 17-0 against Ball State and now 48-0 against Western Michigan, after topping the Broncos in two match ups this season (a Jan. 11 dual and the State of Michigan Classic).
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