Spartans Set for Big Ten Championships
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team travels to the Big Ten Championships this weekend in Piscataway, N.J. MSU will compete in the early session set to start at noon on Saturday, March 18 along with Maryland, Rutgers and Minnesota. The night session will begin at 5 p.m. and will feature Ohio State, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan. Both sessions of the 2017 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships will be broadcast live by Big Ten Network and streamed through BTN2Go.
B1G Championship Info
Tickets are now on sale for the 2017 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships. Call 1-866-445-GORU or visit ScarletKnights.com at this link to purchase. Prices - Adult: $12, Youth/Senior: $5, 2 Years/Under: $1, Big Ten Students: $1 (available directly through ticket office), Groups 20+: $5.
Michigan State will have practice open to the public from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Friday, March 17 with the other teams in its session at the RAC.
Michigan State’s Championship Rotation: Bars - Beam - Floor - Vault
The Spartans average a team score of 194.539 on the season and own an RQS of 195.035 that ranks ninth in the Big Ten. MSU’s best score of the season was a 195.625 vs. Michigan (2/11), with its second best score coming two weekends ago vs. Bowling Green (195.600).
Deans has done it all for the Spartans in her senior year and is having a career-year in the Green in White, as she has set career highs on the vault (9.900), floor (9.950) and in the all-around competition (39.375). The standout has taken home five floor titles – the first five of her career – and is the ninth best all-arounder in the Big Ten with an RQS of 39.135. On top of her five all-around and three floor titles, Deans has also won the vault at five meets this season and ranks 12th in the Big Ten with an RQS of 9.830. On Senior Day, Deans earned a 9.950 on the floor exercise, which ties the fifth best individual floor score in school history.
Frederick entered the season as one of the Big Ten’s ‘Gymnasts to Watch’ and has been an anchor on floor for the Spartans this year, tallying three event titles. She owns an RQS of 9.865 to rank tied for 12th in the Big Ten and scored a career-high 9.925 vs. No. 21 Arkansas (2/25) earlier this season.
Spartans Own the Floor
MSU’s best event has been the floor exercise, where the Spartans average a 48.805 with an RQS of 49.020 to rank ninth in the Big Ten, seventh in the region and 34th in the nation. Michigan State has won the floor exercise title at eight of 11 competitions this season and has shown great depth in the event, with four different individuals earning titles. The Spartans are led by a pair of seniors on the floor, as Nicola Deans owns an RQS of 9.870 to rank 11th in the Big Then, while Kira Frederick owns an RQS of 9.865 to rank tied for 12th in the Big Ten. Deans and Frederick each have three floor titles this season, while freshman Gabriella Douglas and Elena Lagoski have also each earned floor titles this season.
Michigan State’s next best event this year has been on the balance beam, with an RQS of 48.855 that ranks sixth in the Big Ten. Twice this season the Spartans have recorded a score that ranks in the top-30 team beam scores in school history. Against No. 21 Arkansas (2/25), the 49.075 score tied for the 16th-best team score in the event in program history and against Michigan (2/11), MSU tallied a 48.975 which is tied for the 28th-best score on the event in school history.
Freshman Gabriella Douglas has earned two beam titles in her first season and she ranks tied for 22nd in the Big Ten with a 9.820 RQS and season-high of 9.900. Hailee Westney is the other Spartan to take home a crown on the balance beam.
Michigan State owns an RQS of 48.810 on the uneven bars and have featured the top bars performer at seven of 11 meets this season. Lemke ranks tied for 13th in the conference with an RQS of 9.845 and has tallied two event titles this season, while Westney owns four bars titles on the season with five for her career. Lagoski earned her first career bars title vs. Arkansas (2/25) with a career-best 9.875.
B1G Five Meet
Last time out, Michigan State finished fourth at the Big Five Meet in Champaign, Ill., including a season-high score of 49.150 on the floor exercise, led by seniors Kira Frederick and Elena Lagoski, who each earned a 9.875 to place tied for seventh.
At the Big Ten Championships last season, Lagoski (floor) and sophomore Hailee Westney (bars) each earned a spot on the All-Big Ten Championship Team with top-three finishes.
Lagoski has been the Spartans’ anchor on floor throughout her career. She was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection and with her second-place finish, was named to the All-Championship team at the B1G Championships. Lagoski finished with a floor RQS that ranked fourth regionally and 24th nationally at the end of last season, and the senior owns five of the top 15 floor scores in Spartan history.
Sophomore Hailee Westney is a bars specialist who posted a career-best 9.900 on bars at the Big Ten Championships and earned her not only a third-place finish, but also a spot on the B1G All-Championship team.
MSU has 10 individual Big Ten Champions in school history, including 14 event titles (balance beam - 5, bars - 4, floor - 3, vault - 2).
Stronger As The Season Goes
The Spartans have recorded their top three scores of the season in the last month and are getting stronger as the season goes on. MSU cracked into the 195’s for the first time this season with its season-high 195.625 vs. Michigan (2/11) and have scored over 195.000 in three meets since.
This season’s continual improvement matches that of the 2016 Spartan squad that was also peaking at the end of the season. At last year’s Big Five Meet, MSU’s 196.300 team score was tied for sixth-best score in program history. Michigan State finished the 2016 regular season 10-10 overall and 4-5 in the conference to rank 28th in the final national poll, highlighted by a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships at the University of Georgia. MSU’s 195.350 team score at the NCAA Regional was its second-highest score ever at an NCAA Regional, just shy of 2015’s regional score of 195.375.