Gymnastics Earn Season High Score In Loss To Illinois

Michigan State was defeated by Illinois on Friday night, 196.300 – 195.575. The Spartans will end their season on their home turf losing to another Big Ten opponent after falling to Michigan last weekend. Michigan State’s record is now 3-6 (OVR) and 1-5 (B1G).

The night was highlighted by multiple career highs from newcomers and veterans. Friday’s competition was also senior night, and a chance for seniors Lisa Burt and Brittany Holmes to grab personal records. Burt earned a career-high score of 9.875 for her beam performance. Holmes opened the night with a career-high score of 9.775 on the vault.

Holmes suffered an injury her junior year of high school, and hasn’t competed in vault until this year.

“That’s been a goal for the last six years to get back out on vault,” Holmes said.

Burt, Holmes, Nicola Deans, Ashley Noll, Haley Sedgewick, manager Kelsey Thomas and undergraduate student coach Kate Filosi were all honored on senior night.

At practice on Thursday, the girls were relaxed and confident, but still knew what had to be done to stay competitive the rest of the season.

“Last weekend [against Michigan] we had a season high, but we can do so much better than that,” Deans said.

Michigan State scored a 195.425 against Michigan, which was their season high until Friday night against Illinois.

“I’m really excited about what the potential of this team is,” head coach Kathie Klages said.

After this season, that potential will come from the large amount of underclassmen who have proven their talent so far this season. Against Michigan, sophomore Hailee Westney matched Burt with a career-high score of 9.825 on the bars.

Burt opened up senior night with a solid 9.750 on the vault, but ended up with an all-around score of 38.525 for the night. After slowly progressing in all around competition throughout the season, Burt sunk down to one of her lowest scores. She came into senior night 10th in the region for all-around competition, averaging 39.000. On floor, Burt missed a landing and fell in the beginning of her routine.

“I got lost in the middle of the air. I spotted the wrong spot and I just had no idea where I was,” Burt said.

Klages said her team had some landing issues to work on before Friday’s meet, but she still has confidence in her athletes going forward.

Non-seniors still found success throughout the night. Junior Elena Lagowski notched a 9.850 on bars and freshman Jessica ling scored a career-high 9.875 on the bars, taking first place. Junior Holly Ryan’s beam performance earned her a 9.875, another career-high contributing to the team’s season high score.

“We have a lot more depth,” Holmes said. “Instead of having six people on an event, we have ten people to choose from on almost every event. That makes it a little bit easier so we can just put in whoever we believe is most confident that week.”

The Spartans next competition is against Cal on March 4, followed by a meet at Boise State on March 6.