MSU hosted the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night for the eighth annual Jan Howard Breast Cancer Awareness Meet. Jenison Field House was filled with fans wearing pink to show their support. Reaching over 900 fans in attendance, this was a season high for MSU gymnastics.
“It was awesome to have so many fans sitting in the crowd in pink,” MSU coach Kathie Klages said. “It just warms my heart to see that many people out to support this cause.”
Leading off for the Spartans on the vault, Kate Filosi took a fall scoring a 9.050. The top performer in this event was Alina Cartwright scoring a 9.825. For the Hawkeyes Alie Glover and Amanda Kowalski tied with a 9.825. As a team they scored a 48.850.
“We’ve been working very hard on details. I didn’t even care what the score was because I saw the breakthrough of our training coming through,” Hawkeyes coach Larissa Libby said on her girls’ performance on the vault.
In a high energy round, the Hawkeyes started off the meet scoring a 48.575 on the bars. Sydney Hoerr and Angel Metcalf tied to lead the Hawkeyes with a 9.825. MSU posted a 48.275 in the event. Cartwright saved herself from falling, still being able to post a 9.375.
“The former Alina from freshman or sophomore year would have let that fall carry through and affect her beam and floor performance,” Coach Klages said. ”She has learned how to let it go and come out and do her job on the other two events.”
The Spartans were a new team in the second half of events. On the beam, MSU posted a 48.900. Alex Pace and Holly Ryan tied with a 9.800. Beam was the worst event for the Hawkeyes, posting a team score of 47.825.
“We try to teach our team to learn to be closers and just to finish,” Coach Libby said. “It’s hard when you’re on beam, and we had an injury. Clearly their focus was disrupted.”
The Spartan girls looked poised going into the floor event knowing that they were on the brink of their first win. MSU posted a 48.625, which was enough to take the upper hand against the Hawkeyes. Elena Lagoski and Cartwright tied with a score of 9.825. Iowa scored a 48.500 in this event.
President Obama was also in East Lansing on Friday, but he was not part of the 900 in the Jenison.
“He should’ve came to support his number one team,” junior Ashley Noll said.
Next week MSU will be traveling to face off against the No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Jalen Walker is the host of A-Score for Impact Sports.
Photo: Jalen Walker/Impact Sports