The Wolverine

May 2014 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 127 of 153

  NCAAS: WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS The Michigan women's gymnastics team is back on top of the Big Ten. After a two-year absence from the No. 1 spot on the podium at the Big Ten Championships, the Wolverines re- claimed their place as the conference's best program with a winning score of 197.55 March 22. Nebraska, which won the last two conference titles in its first two years in the Big Ten, finished in sec- ond place (196.95). Since Michigan head coach Bev Plocki took over the program in 1993, the Wol- verines have won 18 Big Ten champion- ships (1993-97, 1999-2005, 2007-11 and 2014). The team's two-year draught in 2012 and 2013 was the first time Michi- gan missed out on a Big Ten title in con- secutive years since going without one from 1983-92. "It feels like we as a senior class have come full circle," said senior Joanna Sampson, who won Big Ten titles on the uneven bars (9.925) and the floor exercise (10.0). "Those last two years in between, it didn't go the way we wanted, but we've worked so hard for this. I couldn't be happier with how it ended up." It is the program's 20th all-time win at the Big Ten Championships. "I'm just so proud of them," Plocki said. "It shows that this team has a lot of fight. They believed in themselves and trained hard all week in preparation to come in here and they got it done. "We needed to believe that we were still the top team in the Big Ten Con- ference. We had to come in here and make a statement and show why we're the top-ranked team in the Big Ten. We weren't going to let that be an excuse U-M Takes Home Big Ten Title, Joanna Sampson Excels At National Meet Sampson earned first-team All-America honors in the all-around (39.55), uneven bars (9.9) and floor exercise (9.95). PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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