Douglas, Mitchell Named Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch
Spartans picked to finish eighth in Preseason Coaches' Poll.
As a squad, MSU was picked to finish eighth in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll, which was also announced by the conference office on Thursday.
Sophomore Gabriella Douglas shone in her debut season as a Spartan, placing first on beam against Arkansas on Feb. 25, scoring a 9.900 and earning a 9.525 on vault at the Big Ten Championships. Douglas also tallied a 9.800 on beam at Illinois on Feb. 17 and finished third in the all-around in her Spartan debut with a score of 38.325 against Bowling Green on Jan. 6.
Freshman Lea Mitchell joins the Spartans in 2018 coming from American Twisters out of Boynton Beach, Florida. Mitchell was the 2016 Level 10 Regional All-Around Champion, placing second on floor and vault and third on bars and beam. The Florida native was the 2017 Florida State Bar Champion and won the silver medal in 2015, 2016, and 2017 in the All-Around at the Florida State meet and is a seven-time level 10 Regional qualifier.
“Both Ella and Lea have impressive similarities that make them this year’s Michigan State’s Gymnasts to Watch,” said head coach Mike Rowe. “They both, along with their elite skill level and talent, possess beautiful lines, displaying unique artistry. Lea will be debuting in the all-around as a freshman and is a powerhouse on vault and floor, while also possessing great technique and showmanship on bars and beam.”
“Ella will begin the season on three events, being both dynamic and explosive on vault and floor, while being a natural with outstanding grace and artistry on beam and floor,” added Rowe. “She’ll be a line-up contender on bars as well by mid-January. We are looking forward to enjoying their success and contributions to this year’s Spartan gymnastics program.”
MSU will host Meet the Spartans on Saturday, December 16 inside Jenison Field House at 2 p.m. before officially kicking off the 2018 season on Friday, January 5 at 6 p.m. hosting Bowling Green.
For a full list of all of the Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch, click here.
Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Preseason Coaches’ Poll
4. Ohio State
5. Penn State
8. Michigan State