March 9, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team will travel to Anchorage, Alaska this weekend to take on Alaska-Anchorage in a two meet series. Competition between the Spartans and the SeaWolves will begin on Friday (March 9) at 11 p.m. (ET) and continue on Sunday (March 11) at 6 p.m. (ET). Fans can catch all the action through a live stats link and a free live video stream will be provided for Sunday's meet.
Michigan State enters the weekend with an overall RQS of 193.270. The Spartans' highest event is score on the vault with a 48.715, which is 32nd in the nation. MSU is also posting a 48.585 in the floor exercise, a 48.335 on the uneven bars and a 47.635 on the balance beam.
Redshirt sophomore Taira Neal leads the team on the vault with a 9.860 RQS and 38th place national ranking. Neal is also in the Top Ten on the vault regionally and in the Big Ten as she sits in seventh and ninth place, respectively. On the uneven bars, senior Jackie Berg is the top Spartan with a 9.770 RQS. Berg is currently the 22nd gymnast on the bars in the region and is tied for 25th in the league. A pair of sophomores lead MSU in two events as Alex Pace owns a 9.585 RQS on the beam and Dani Levyhas a 9.745 in the floor routine.
Last week Michigan State celebrated Senior Night with a season-high 195.550-195.175 win over Illinois-Chicago. The Spartans posted a season-best 49.075 on the uneven bars and five gymnasts beat or tied their personal-best scores. Senior Alyssa Brennan gave a career-performance as she tied her career-high scored in both the vault and the floor exercise. On her way to her career-best 39.125 in the all-around, Levy tabbed a season-high 9.750 on the vault and tied her personal-best bars score with a 9.875. On the vault, freshman Ashley Noll posted her best score to-date with a 9.775 in the event.
Alaska-Anchorage is coming off another two-meet weekend, posting a 187.475 in a quad meet at UC Davis and then earning 190.325 points in a duel at Sacramento State. Kathleen Mantell scored a career-high 37.825 in the all-around while Jackie Thomas scored a season-high 9.375 on the uneven bars. On the vault, Melissa Doucette has the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's top average with a 9.800.
Michigan State will finish the regular season next Friday (March 16) at intra-state rival Michigan. Competition is slated to begin at 6 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.