MSU Gymnastics shines on balance beam in Tri-Meet win

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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Michigan State Gymnastics put on another record-breaking performance Friday night against Central Michigan and Western Michigan on the road in Mount Pleasant, posting a 196.500 and winning their fourth meeting of the season.

The Spartans took first place in the tri-meet against their in-state MAC opponents, earning a final team score of 196.500. Central Michigan took second place with a 196.475, while Western Michigan finished at 195.400.

MSU posted its third-highest score this season as part of capturing the eighth-highest team score in MSU history, among a group of high-scoring fixtures for the Green and White this season.

“We faced a bit of adversity tonight in the warm-ups, but luckily some people stepped up and got the job done,” the head coach said. mike rowe noted. “We are extremely proud of these young women who fought until the last routine to hold on to victory. We also had the opportunity to rest a few of them on certain events so that we could be back to full Sunday.”

Three Spartans walked away with event titles that day, year two Giana Kalefe and freshman Gabrielle Stephane earning a share of the beam title each with a 9.925. Kalefe’s score set a new career high, while Stephen followed up with an impressive 9.950 from last weekend against Maryland.

The competition’s third and final MSU event title came from a freshman Skyla Schulte with a score of 9.875 on the uneven bars in the final rotation of the night for the Spartans.

Michigan State started the night on the balance beam, which turned out to be the most impressive event of the night for the team. With five Spartans earning a 9.800 or higher, MSU posted a 49.350 as a team, their highest score this season and good for the third-highest beam score in program history. While Kalefe and Stephen shared first place, senior Alyssa Wiedman earned a share of fourth place with a career-best 9.850.

The Spartans moved to the floor for the second rotation, with senior Ashley Hofelich once again leave with the best score for the Green and White. She equaled her career best 9.925 for the third consecutive encounter, finishing second. Second year Delanie Harkness also put in a solid performance to reach a new career high with his first-ever 9.900 on floor and a third-place finish.

As MSU moved to vault for the third rotation, Stephen came away with a 9.875 to lead the team and finish tied for second. Hofelich posted a score of 9.850 to place fourth, while Baleigh Garcia rounded out the Spartans’ best scores with a 9.800, good for a tie for seventh.

Finishing the night in bars, just behind Schulte and finishing fourth overall was a fifth year Lea Mitchell with a 9.825. Harkness anchored the event with a 9.800 to place eighth.

“Overall, this team is really starting to get it,” Rowe added. “They’re leaving small mistakes behind and going full speed ahead. As we approach week seven and the Big Five meeting, I’m confident we’re on the right track!”

Continuing a busy weekend, Michigan State heads home for a meeting with Illinois this Sunday, February 13. The match is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and will also air nationally on the Big Ten Network from Jenison Field House. Fans are welcome to attend under Michigan’s state spectator vaccination policy.

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