Michigan Sets New Team High In Win Over Maryland

The Michigan women’s gymnastics team faced off against Maryland in the Xfinity Center on Saturday. Michigan took the lead, beating Maryland 196.400 to 193.525. This team score is important to Michigan not just for this matchup, but because it is their highest team score of the season to date. The win gave Michigan a 2-0 record in the Big Ten conference. 

“We made a lot of little mistakes and they added up to hurt us in the final score,” Maryland head coach Brett Nelligan said. “Everything we need is there, we just need to smooth things out, stay calm and be confident.”

Michigan gymnasts also swept the podium, taking all four individual event titles, as well as the all-around title. Olivia Karas won floor with a 9.925, leading her team to an impressive 49.200 total score, their best floor rotation this season. Karas ended up taking second all-around after scoring a 9.825 on both bars and beam. Freshman Natalie Wojcik scored a 9.900, making this the first time in her collegiate career she hit that score, and Abby Brenner got a season high on floor with a 9.850. 

Floor was the only event Wojcik didn’t win, as she took the vault, bars and beam titles, and this newcomer who is quickly making a name for herself in the NCAA won the all-around as well. She has won the all-around in four meets this season and has won 10 event titles in her short time competing for Michigan. In the Maryland meet, she won beam with a 9.925, bars with a 9.875 and vault with a 9.925. 

Other impressive beam routines came from sophomore Lauren Farley (9.850), junior Lexi Funk (9.875) and freshman Maddie Mariani (9.750), who made her collegiate beam debut. The team scored a 49.225 total on the event, making it a strong beam day for the Wolverines. 

The Wolverines also had other exciting results this meet, including sophomore Anne Maxim scoring a 9.700 on bars. This score was impressive for her first time being in the scored lineup for that event, as she previously only did exhibition. 

The GymTerps had some success in Saturday’s meet, scoring a huge total of 48.700 on bars. Sophomores Emilie LeBlanc and Audrey Barber led the team on bars with scores of 9.825 and 9.800, respectively. 

Maryland did not have a good chance of winning the all-around since Barber was the only one competing all-around. Although she was the only one, she finished successfully with a 39.125. The Terrapins also hit a lot of season highs, with Barber scoring a 9.775 on beam and 9.800 on floor. Alecia Farina and Collea Burgess both hit a 9.775, two new season bests on floor. 

“It pushes us to get better, get stronger, so this is something that we are glad to have under our belt going forward it gives us a lot more confidence,” Burgess said, discussing how important it is to compete against tougher teams to get a challenge. 

Maryland and Michigan both compete again soon. Maryland is up against Rutgers next week on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. ET, and Michigan competes next against Nebraska on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. ET. 

Miranda Martin is a freelance writer who writes about gymnastics, social justice issues, and more. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or contact her through her website.

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