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gymnastics-women-nc flag | January 18, 2014

Roundup: Michigan barely escapes NC State to win in four-squad meet

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Senior Joanna Sampson won the all-around (39.625) and had individual event wins on uneven bars (9.925) and floor exercise (9.950), while sophomore Austin Sheppard won vault (9.925) to lead the No. 8-ranked Michigan team to a quad meet victory on Friday inside Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolverines scored 196.800, ahead of NC State (195.650), North Carolina (192.450) and Towson (191.325).

Like last Friday's opener at Iowa State, Michigan started the meet on uneven bars. All six gymnasts in the lineup had scores above 9.800, but it was Sampson who shined, putting up a 9.925 routine to lead the way. She changed her release move from last week, electing to go with the familiar Tkatchev, which she stuck, along with the double layout dismount. Junior Sachi Sugiyama and freshman Nicole Artz each recorded 9.850 scores to start the rotation, with the highlights being the stuck landings by both gymnasts -- a full-twisting double layout from Sugiyama and a double layout with both huge height and distance from Artz. The Wolverines totaled 49.275 to start the meet.

The Wolverines faced some adversity on balance beam. After Artz led off the second week in a row with a solid, confident routine (9.850), junior Annette Miele was unable to perform her full dismount, scoring a 9.550. Freshman Talia Chiarelli got things back on track a 9.850, capped with a stuck round off double tuck dismount. Senior Shelby Gies performed a 9.800 routine with a clean one-arm back handspring layout. Sampson went up in the anchor spot needing to hit and did, scoring 9.875, tying her career high. At the halfway point, Michigan led the quad with a 98.200 score, but North Carolina State was on its heels (97.675).

Michigan ended strong on vault, scoring 49.325 as a team with no routine below 9.825. Sugiyama and Sampson each recorded 9.875s -- Sugiyama with her Yurchenko 1.5 and Sampson with her Yurchenko full -- while Sheppard grabbed a 9.925. She had a step on the landing, but got the big score thanks to her traditional height and distance off the table. North Carolina State only got 48.625 on floor exercise, giving Michigan the quad-meet victory.

No. 1 Oklahoma vs. Iowa State

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma blew past the Iowa State Cyclones 196.675-193.050 on Friday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The sophomores swept event titles on all four apparatuses and in the all-around for the second week in a row. Junior Erica Brewer led the way, earning the all-around title (49.425) and beam title (9.825), while tying with teammates Haley Scaman and Taylor Spears for top honors on bars (9.85). Scaman and Keeley Kmieciak tied for the vault title (9.9), while Lara Albright took home top honors on floor (9.9).

Oklahoma's trend of powerful vaults continued this week as the Sooners hit a 49.400 to start the night with a bang. Sophomores Haley Scaman and Keeley Kmieciak led the way for OU with identical scores of 9.9. Erica Brewer gave the Sooners momentum in the No. 2 spot with a career-high 9.875, and Maile'ana Kanewa added a 9.875 in the No. 3 slot.

Oklahoma's second week of competition saw the squad post another strong performance on floor exercise, earning a 49.200 this week to end the meet. Albright led the way with her meet-high 9.9 in the lead-off position, while Brewer posted a 9.875 for the second week in a row. Spears and Scaman also had strong performances, with each picking up 9.85 efforts.

No. 9 Georgia vs. No. 2 LSU

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia turned in a season-high score en route to defeating LSU 197.175 - 196.875 in its home opener on Friday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.

Georgia gymnasts placed first or tied for first on three events, including a meet-high and career-high 9.975 on bars by Chelsea Davis, while Lindsey Cheek scored a 9.925 on bars and a 9.9 on vault. Cheek has now scored a 9.9 or higher on vault and bars in all three meets to open the season.

T4 Florida vs. Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. -- Florida opened the 2014 Southeastern Conference season with a win at No. 18 Auburn. The defending NCAA and SEC champions posted a 197.075 and the Tigers earned a total of 196.225.

The Gators trailed the Tigers by 0.275 following the opening rotation after Auburn posted the nation’s fourth highest vault total of 49.40. That lead evaporated after the Gators’ nearly matched that vault total with their 49.375, giving Florida a 0.225 advantage at the midway point. Florida upped its season-floor exercise best to 49.15 on the next rotation. The nation’s season-high balance beam total of 49.425 on Florida’s final event pushed the Gators to the win.

T4 Utah vs. California

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Three spectacular events gave Utah a big enough cushion to beat Cal 196.875-196.275 on the 39th-anniversary of the first Utah gymnastics meet back on Jan. 17, 1976.

The Utes looked in postseason form on bars (49.325), vault (49.500) and floor (49.475) in building up a 148.300-147.150 lead against the Bears. They gave back several of those tenths on their final event, when Baely Rowe and Mary Beth Lofgren both fell off beam.

Tory Wilson won the all-around for the second consecutive week, scoring a 39.450 and picked up her first vault win of the season with a 9.975. Georgia Dabritz was a double winner for the second week, scoring a 9.95 on floor and tying for first on bars with Corrie Lothrop (9.90).

No. 10 Arkansas vs. Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Arkansas scored a 196.025 to beat Missouri with a 194.650 in the teams first road score. All-American Katherine Grable won the all-around competition with a 39.525.