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MSU Gymnastics Hosts Big Ten Quad Meet

Junior Alina Cartwright and the Spartans look to challenge Big Ten competition.

March 14, 2014

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Returning home to Jenison Field House, the Michigan State gymnastics team is back in action on Saturday, March 15 to host a Big Ten quad meet. The Spartans welcome No. 9 Nebraska, No. 14 Illinois and No. 23 Ohio State to a conference match up, with competition scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. It marks the second-straight quad-meet competition for MSU. The meet will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“Experiencing the quad meet last Sunday will definitely help the team as we go into this weekend’s quad," said head coach Kathie Klages. "The team will compete in the same order that they did in the last quad so they have “experienced” the meet rotation already.  The atmosphere is different at a quad as the team’s do not alternate performances, the competitors on each event just go one after another. It makes the competition quicker and allows us to focus just on us and not look at the other teams.”

Last Time Out
On Friday, the Spartans used their highest balance beam (49.025) and floor exercise (49.050) scores of the season to help lead the team to its first road win of 2014 as MSU outscored Southeast Missouri 194.900-193.625 at Houck House Field. It marked the second-highest score for Michigan State this season. Junior Alina Cartwright led the Spartans with two individual event wins on both the vault and balance beam, as well as the all-around title. 

MSU then traveled to Texas Women’s University for a quad meet on Sunday. Sophomore Lisa Burt took first-place honors in the all-around competition, and though the Spartans posted season-high scores on vault (48.950) and floor exercise (49.450), MSU finished fourth in a quad meet at Kitty Magee Arena. No. 3 Oklahoma won the meet with a score of 198.150, 12th-ranked Minnesota posted a score of 196.275 to finish in second place, host Texas Women’s University placed third with a score of 194.775 and Michigan State finished fourth with a score of 194.350.

“Though we had a disappointing weekend, the team is focused and ready to work toward a good showing in the first ever Big Ten Quad meet with the effort continuing onto the Big Ten Championships,” said  Klages. “We know we can compete against the competition if we just do our gymnastics the way we know we can.”

MSU in the Rankings
The Spartans are currently 41st in the GymInfo national rankings with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 194.465. MSU is tied for No. 29 with a RQS on the balance beam of 48.810, while the team’s floor exercise RQS of 48.850 is 40th Both scores are also the sixth- and ninth-best, respectively, in the central region. 

Individually, Alina Cartwright is seventh in the region with her all-around RQS of 39.265and her average score of 9.885 on the vault is tied for 23rd in the nation. In the conference, her vault score is the fifth-best average score this season and she is seventh in the regional all-around rankings.

Notes on Nebraska
The Huskers enter the weekend ranked No. 9 in the latest Gyminfo rankings with a 11-2 overall record. Nebraska is tied for the eighth-best beam RQS in the nation (49.150) and its RQS on both vault (49.285) and bars (49.165) RQS are ranked 12th overall  Last weekend, the Huskers suffered a tough loss at home to Arkansas, dropping a 196.700-196.350 decision. At the helm, Dan Kendig is in his 21st season as head coach. Nebraska is led by senior Emily Wong, who ranks No. 4 in the nation with an all-around RQS of 39.565. 

Illustrating Illinois                 
14th-ranked Illinois owns a 10-4 overall record heading into the meet. The Illini’s highest RQS comes on beam as their score of 49.125 is good for 11th overall, while they are ranked 14th on floor (49.185) and 17th on bars (49.045). Setting a new school record, Illinois posted their highest score in program history to take down Lindenwood, 197.100-194.450. Illinois is led by head coach Kim Landrus, who is in her third season at Illinois. Individually, Amber See leads Illinois, posting just the third-ever 10.0 on vault in the history of Illini gymnastics. 

Outlining Ohio State
The Buckeyes sit at 24th in the Gyminfo rankings this week, posting a 3-8 overall record this season. Ohio State is also ranked 22nd on both the bars and beam, with scores of 48.995 and 48.295, respectively. With a score of 196.600, the Buckeyes topped Ball State last weekend with their highest score of the season. Ohio State’s head coach Carey Fagan is in her ninth season. Leading the Buckeyes is senior Melanie Shaffer, who is ranked 19th in the all-around competition with an RQS of 39.295. 

Next Up
The Spartans will continue conference action as they travel to State College, Pa., as Penn State hosts the 2014 Big Ten Championships on Saturday, March 22. 



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