Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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MSU Gymnastics Defeated on Senior Night

The No. 23 Spartans fell into last place on Senior Night against No. 19 Arizona, No. 33 Eastern Michigan and No. 44 Bowling Green.

Even with athletes taking first place in each individual event, MSU ended up with just 194.350 points.

Senior Alina Cartwright nailed her first landing of the night in the vault, tying her career-high score of 9.95 points to start her last night competing at Jenison Fieldhouse on a positive note.

“That was really awesome because I haven’t twisted since the last meet due to my ankle injury,” Cartwright said.

While three seniors walked onto the floor with their family, only one was dressed for competition. The senior lineup has been beaten down by injuries, leaving Cartwright and Ashley Noll on the roster, while Ashley Stevenson serves as a student coach.

So what is it like to be competing at home one last time?

Cartwright has been asked the question countless times, but the answer has not gotten any easier. She battled her “rollercoaster” emotions throughout the night, but gathered herself after vault.

“If I compete with emotion, then I lose sight of what im trying to do,” Cartwright said.

Lack of confidence, something the girls have been struggling with this season, dragged down their overall beam score. MSU fell into unbalanced habits and posted a score of 47.325 on beam.

“They’re lacking some mental toughness on beam,” head coach Kathie Klages said.

All-arounder Lisa Burt completed beam with a 9.0, which is 0.90 lower than her season-high of season-high 9.90. Klages said the team’s beam performance was absolutely horrible.

All but one Spartan failed to execute the event as they hoped. Freshman Hailee Westney stepped up and earned 9.85 in beam, out-scoring her teammates.

“Hailey is a beautiful beam-worker,” Klages said. “It’s really exciting to see her put together her beam routine.”

In the other events, junior Lisa Burt took first place on bars with a score of 9.90 while sophomore Mackenzie Smith tied her career-high 9.875 in that event.

Conquering nerves after her beam performance, sophomore Elena Lagowski posted a 9.90 on floor. After a rough go at beam, she pulled her teammates aside and tried to keep positivity going into her best event of the night. It was also an emotional night for Lagowski, who looks up to her senior teammates.

“I wanna be like them,” Lagowski said. “I wanna be like Noll, so graceful, and Lina, so powerful.”

Cartwright continues to gain ground and Klages is hopeful that she will be able to work her way onto the floor by regionals.

Up next, the Spartans head to Nebraska for the B1G Five Meet, where they hope to carry good vibes from three successful events on the seniors’ last home meet.

“It’s like I blinked and it’s here,” Cartwright said.

Julie Angell is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports

Photo: Julie Angell/Impact Sports


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