Michigan captures Big Ten title with clutch balance beam performance
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sixth-ranked Michigan women's gymnastics (21-2) posted the second-highest score in program history (197.825) to win its second consecutive Big Ten title on Saturday inside Crisler Center. With a regular-season title and a win at the championships meet, Michigan has now won 23 total Big Ten titles in its history.
Nicole Artz was the best gymnast on the floor, winning the all-around crown (a career-high 39.650), the outright title on balance beam (9.950) and tying for the uneven bars title (9.950). Joining Artz on the podium was Sachi Sugiyama and Talia Chiarelli, both of whom tied for first on floor exercise (9.925). Sugiyama and Brianna Brown tied for fourth in the all-around, each scoring 39.550. All four gymnasts were named to the All-Big Ten Championships Team, as was Briley Casanova.
Following the conclusion of the meet, head coach Bev Plocki was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Brown was named Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the award with Penn State's Briannah Tsang.
Still awake? We've got highlights and reaction from today's Big Ten Championships at Crisler. http://t.co/HrOupPlfN8— Michigan Gymnastics (@umichwgym) March 22, 2015
With the outcome of the meet coming down to the final rotation, Michigan put together a strong performance on balance beam to capture the championship. The Wolverines hit all six routines for a team score of 49.450. Casanova started things for U-M with a 9.9. Sugiyama and Lindsay Williams followed with identical scores of 9.850s before Brown matched Casanova with a flawless routine and a 9.900 score as the team's fourth performer. Artz tallied the top score in the event with a 9.950, securing the all-around title in the process with a 39.650 and the team's Big Ten title.
The Wolverines will make their 24th consecutive appearance at the NCAA Regionals in two weeks (April 4). The NCAA Selection Show will take place on Monday (March 23) at 3 p.m., and can be seen on NCAA.com. U-M will be sent to one of six sites -- Oklahoma, Ohio State, California, Iowa State, West Virginia or Auburn.
|BIG TEN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS|