The Wolverine

May 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  big ten/NCAA championships: women's gymnastics Michigan Continues March To Super Six In a sport as competitive as collegiate gymnastics, vying for national championships requires following a process with persistence. The No. 5 Wolverines took another step in their climb toward the top in 2013 with a first-place finish at the NCAA Regional April 6 in Morgantown, W.Va. The feat came just two weeks removed from securing a secondplace finish at the ultra-competitive Big Ten Championships. "I'm thrilled for the team," head coach Bev Plocki said. "It's great to see them happy Junior Joanna Sampson, the 2013 Big Ten Gymnast of the and excited. HopeYear, tied for third place in the all-around (39.200 points) at fully, this gives us confidence going in. the NCAA Regional in Morgantown, W.Va. photo courtesy michigan athletic media relations "In a lot of ways, this meet is harder. We still have little things to clean up. We have yet to have our perfect meet. Hopefully that's in the stars and we'll have that in Los Angeles." The lights will certainly be shining brightly upon the Maize and Blue at the famed Pauley Pavilion located on UCLA's campus, which plays host to the NCAA Championships April 19-21. At the regional meet, U-M was paced by strong performances from seniors Katie Zurales and Brittnee Martinez, and junior Joanna Sampson. Zurales tied for first place on the balance beam with a 9.900 score, and Sampson and Martinez concluded the uneven bars deadlocked on top, also with a 9.900 point total. "This shows exactly what I have been saying all year long," Plocki said. "We have a lot of determination and toughness — we're not going down without a fight." "It feels great, much better than last year," Zurales said of the team's regional title. "It's going to be great to go with the whole team after finishing off regionals on a good note. "In warm-ups, we wanted to relax and just have fun. I think we kept it going throughout the meet. We did a good job there."

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