The Wolverine

June-July 2013 - Wolverine

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  NCAA Championships: women's gymnastics Joanna Sampson Wins NCAA Title, Team Falls Short Of Super Six It's something Joanna Sampson, a junior on the Michigan women's gymnastics team, has done thousands — probably tens of thousands — of times since she first began her gymnastics career as a little girl in Willow Grove, Pa. Sampson set up in the corner of the mat for her final tumbling pass of the 2013 season, and this time, despite all of her preparation and hard work, a wave of chills travelled up her spine. "I actually got a little nervous going into it, which isn't normally something that happens to me," she said. "I took a second and hung on a little bit longer in the corner and then went for it." The nerves were understandable. Sampson was in the midst of the NCAA Championships individual floor exercise competition, with a national title on the line. She sprung from the corner, leaping into a handspring, transitioning to a back handspring and into a double Sampson, a junior, registered a score of backflip — a move called a double 9.9375 to earn the national crown in the pike — and stuck the landing. floor exercise — the first in that event by "I really don't know what was going a Wolverine and the program's eighth indi- through my head," Sampson said. "I vidual national title. just really wanted to have a lot of fun photo courtesy michigan athletic media relations and do well for my team. They were all in the stands, cheering me on. I looked at them before I started my routine and saw how excited they were. That gave me a lot of confidence in myself. "When I set up for my last pass, I felt really good. You're usually pretty tired at the end of a routine. But seeing them right there with me, still cheering, it gave me a lot of energy in that last pass. I wanted to do well for them. "It went well. I went really aggressive, like I always do. It was OK, because it worked out in my favor."

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