April 30, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State gymnastics team celebrated its 2011-12 season at its team banquet on Sunday (April 29) in the Stadium Club at the Spartan Stadium. The Spartans announced their annual awards, which included a new category this year.
Noll competed on the vault, balance beam and floor routine in every meet this season and won her first career title on the vault with a 9.825 score against UIC (March 3). The Hummelstown, Pa. native earned her first title in the floor exercise at Iowa (Jan. 13) with a personal-best 9.825. Noll placed in the top three on the vault, beam and floor for a combine 18 times and finished the year with career-highs of 9.875 on the vault and 9.850 on the beam.
Senior Alyssa Brennan was chosen for the Coach's Award, which is selected by head coach Kathie Klages and the rest of the coaching staff. Redshirt sophomore Taira Neal was the recipient of the Kathryn Mahoney Award, which was created in 2011 for the gymnast who displays courage, strength and determination throughout the year.
This season, Brennan recorded career-best marks in every event she competed in, including a 9.800 score on the vault and a 9.750 on the balance beam. A native of Palm Bay, Fla., Brennan posted a personal-high score of 9.800 in the floor routine against Pittsburgh (Feb. 11) and tied that mark on three other occasions.
Neal led Michigan State on the vault, winning the event nine times and placing in the top three in all but one regular-season meet. Neal recorded a career-best 9.925 on the vault at Iowa (Jan. 13), which is tied for fifth-best in the MSU recordbooks, and met that score three more times this season. The Second-Team All-Big Ten honoree was MSU's top individual performer at the 2012 NCAA Auburn Regional with a 9.900 score and fourth place finish on the vault.
An honor that is new to the annual awards is the 1,000 point club, which is given to gymnasts who reach over 1,000 total points throughout their career at Michigan State. Senior Jackie Berg is the first Spartan to join the 1,000 point club as she has tallied 1,071.700 career points during her tenure in the Green and White.
The top performers of year were also recognized at the banquet which included Neal on the vault, Berg on the uneven bars, sophomore Sarena Bumbarger on the balance beam and sophomore Dani Levy in the floor exercise.