March 11, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior Rhiannon Banda-Scott's perfect 10 on the vault Sunday, earned her Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week honors, released by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon. The honor is the first in her career and it is the second straight week that a Spartan earned the weekly conference honor, as sophomore Nicole Curler garnered the award last week.
"With a perfect 10 on Senior Day, we are thrilled that Rhiannon was named Big Ten Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week," said head coach Kathie Klages. "She has been getting so close to that score this season and it is so exciting that she was able to get there in her last meet in Jenison."
Banda-Scott etched her name into the Michigan State gymnastics record books on Sunday, where she earned only the second-ever perfect 10 in program history, in the Spartans' 196.350-193.475 win over the University of New Hampshire. Her new career-high on the apparatus earned her the individual vault title and propelled MSU to a season-high team score. It was her third vault title of the season and the fourth of her career. Entering the season, she had only placed in the top-three on two occasions in her two seasons as a Spartan, but this season she has seven top-three finishes in 10 meets.
The Burlington, Ontario native has been steadily climbing the national rankings all season on vault. Currently, she is tied for 13th in the country, having moved up 10 spots after her perfect 10, with a 9.885 regional qualifying score (RQS). Banda-Scott is also alone in second in the Big Ten and tied for third in the Central region. She previously earned a 10.0 score from one judge in her previous career-high performance of 9.950 at LSU.
There have been only the five perfect 10 in the country this season on the vault and seven across the sport's four events in 2008.
Ironically, the first and only other perfect 10 in Spartan history was also on the vault and also against the University of New Hampshire. Then-freshman Rochelle Robinson hit the score at the Fox Run Invitational in Durham, N.H. on Feb. 10, 2007.
The Spartans remained at No. 14 in the latest GymInfo national ranking with a RQS of 195.560. The numbers also rank MSU fourth in the Central region (trailing No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Alabama and No. 12 Auburn) and second in the Big Ten Conference, behind only No. 4 Michigan.
Michigan State is in the top 25 nationally in each event. The Spartans are 12th on the beam with a 49.00 RQS and have their highest RQS on the vault with a 49.065 to stand in 14th. They are also 18th on the bars with a 48.820 and currently are 23rd on the floor at 48.865. Among Big Ten foes, the Spartans are second on the vault, beam and bars, while in the region, they are third on vault and fourth on both the bars and beam. MSU is fifth in the Big Ten and sixth in the Central on the floor.
Michigan State travels south for its penultimate regular season meet of the season, taking on No. 12 Auburn on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.