East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State posted its season-best results on both floor and vault in finishing in seventh place overall at the 2016 Big Ten Championship in Lincoln, Neb. on Saturday. The Spartans mark their highest finish at the Conference championship meet since 2013, while their team score of 195.475 was its best at the Big Ten Championships since scoring a 195.65 in 2009.

 

Elena Lagoski finished tied for second on floor exercise, tying her career-best 9.95, and sophomore Hailee Westney tied for third with her career-best 9.90 on bars — and the duo each earned a spot on the All-Big Ten Championship Team for their top-three finishes. Kira Frederick finished in a tie for fourth on floor with a 9.90.

 

Senior Lisa Burt finished seventh All-Around with a 39.350, just shy of the career-best 39.375 she posted a week ago at the Big Five meet. The senior finished sixth on vault and 11th on bars on the day. Meanwhile, classmate Brittany Holmes finished 18th All-Around and was MSU’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

As a team, the Spartans’ strongest rotations were their final two, scoring a season-best 49.000 on vault and a 49.4 on floor exercise. The 49.4 on floor tied for the eighth-best performance all-time: MSU has posted a 49.475 five times, (most recently in 2004) and has twice posted a 49.425. MSU posted a 49.4 score last February at Illinois. MSU’s team vault score (49.000) was tied for 24th in the MSU record book.

 

“Even though beam was extremely rough for us again today, the team rebounded and finished the meet on a very high note,” said head coach Kathie Klages.  “With that comeback, we’ve solidified a spot in the NCAA regionals.  It was awesome to have gymnasts on the podium and to place two athletes on the All-Championships team.”

MSU opened with another strong performance on bars, scoring a 48.975 — Brittney Holmes started things off with a 9.65, and Elena Lagoski scored a strong routine in the second spot with a 9.8, her third-highest score of the season. Anna Gamelo followed with a 9.75, and after Jessica Ling struggled a bit with a 9.175, the Spartans picked her up with two rock-solid routines — a 9.9 from Westney, her career best, and a 9.875 from anchor Lisa Burt. Westney eventually finished in a tie for third overall on the day.

Moving to beam, MSU got a leadoff performance from Holmes that scored a 9.675, and senior Ashley Nollscored a 9.425 after a small miscue. Victoria Heuhn came up with a 9.625 in the third slot, and a slight balance check in her routine scored Kira Frederick a 9.6. Burt once again anchored the rotation for the Spartans, and scored a team-best 9.775 to bolster MSU’s team score to 48.100.

 

Through two rotations, the Spartans sat in sixth place with a 97.075, but had faith in their strongest event, floor, for the fifth (their third) rotation. MSU’s confidence showed in its first two routines, getting a 9.80 from Holmes and a 9.85 from both Noll and freshman Drew Hendershot. Noll, a senior, tied career best with her score, nailing a big performance in the final Big Ten championship meet of her career. Burt followed Hendershot with MSU’s third consecutive 9.85, just shy of her season best of 9.875. That left MSU’s top two floor performers, and Kira Frederick failed to disappoint — she posted a 9.90, her second straight week with a 9.9 or better after a 9.925 last week at the Big Five meet. Heading into the final routine, the Spartans held a 49.250, which would have been the 19th best score in program history — but with anchor Elena Lagoski still to come, the Spartans had aspirations of bettering that score. Lagoski went out and recorded a 9.95, tying her career best for the second time this season to take second overall. She posted a 9.95 for the fifth time in her career — a score which ties the fifth-best floor score in program history. MSU closed out the event with a 49.400, the second-best team floor score of the day behind overall champion Michigan.

 

MSU used the momentum of its standout performance on floor into closing out the meet with a statement on vault and moving up the standings. A 9.8 for Holmes in the second spot on the vault established a new career best, giving the senior her 38.925 All-Around score. Burt followed with a 9.85, and the Spartans got a strong vault from Roya Shirley (9.75) to just miss her career best, and fifth-year Haley Sedgewick posted a 9.8 for the third straight week, matching her MSU best in the event. Lagoski also scored a 9.80, matching her 2016 best. That gave the Spartans a 48.975 on the apparatus, its best score of the season.

 

In addition to Holmes’ 38.925 All-Around score, Lisa Burt posted a 39.350 score, just shy of her season-best 39.375 she accomplished last week at the Big Five meet. Burt finished seventh, while Holmes took 18th.

 

 

2016 Big Ten Championships

1-Michigan 197.125 
2- Nebraska 196.900
3- Minnesota 196.575 
4- Penn State 196.150 
T-5- Iowa 195.875
T-5- Ohio State 195.875
7- Michigan State 195.475
8- Illinois 195.175
9-Rutgers 194.775
10- Maryland 194.025
Gymnast of the Year: Lindsay Mable, Minnesota
Freshman of the Year: Olivia Karas, Michigan
Coach of the Year: Jenny Hansen, Minnesota


All-Championships Team
Bridget Hodan, Illinois
Sunny Kato, Illinois
Mollie Drenth, Iowa
Angel Metcalf, Iowa
Kathy Tang, Maryland
Nicole Artz, Michigan
Brianna Brown, Michigan
Olivia Karas, Michigan
Elena Lagoski, Michigan State
Hailee Westney, Michigan State
Lindsay Mable, Minnesota
Hollie Blanske, Nebraska
Danielle Breen, Nebraska
Sienna Crouse, Nebraska
Jennie Laeng, Nebraska
Grace Williams, Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hofland, Ohio State
Kiera Brown, Penn State
Riahanah Ali, Rutgers


Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Mary Jane Horth, Illinois
Melissa Zurawski, Iowa
Kathy Tang, Maryland
Lindsay Williams, Michigan
Brittany Holmes, Michigan State
Madeline Hanley, Minnesota
Danielle Breen, Nebraska
Rachel Abrams, Ohio State
Christina Postiglione, Penn State
Kathryn Stebick, Rutgers