The BG gymnastics team opens new season with win over Big Ten opponent

Terrance Davis and Terrance Davis

The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team began the 2015 season with a 194.775-194.075 victory over Michigan State University on Saturday at Anderson Arena.

The Falcons recorded their highest opening-meet score since 2001 in which they posted a final team score of 194.825.

“We are really pleased with the overall performance today of the team,” head coach Kerrie Turner said. “I think that they were really prepared. We’ve been talking about that all along, making sure that we are the most prepared team on meet day. It really showed. We put the work in during the fall and they were ready. As a team, we have really gelled this year, and that’s made a huge difference in their ability to believe in each other.” 

The victory marked the second time Bowling Green had ever defeated Michigan State and gave the Falcons their first win over a Big Ten Conference opponent since 2004. The Falcons last defeated the Spartans in 1984.

As a team, the Falcons won the vault [48.85-48.625], bars [48.576-48.4] and floor exercise [48.65-48.375]. Michigan State earned a victory on the beams [48.675-48.6].

The Falcons recorded 13 routines scores of at least 9.725 and five scores at or above 9.800. Junior Caroline Ellingboe had several individual standout performances for the Falcons. Ellingboe set a new career high on the beam with a score of 9.775 and tied her career best on bars with a score of 9.800.

Sophomore Lauren Feely and Michigan State’s Lisa Burt tied for best all-around score with a 39.025.

Senior Jamilah Ali placed first in vault with a score of 9.875, tying her career high and besting Nicola Deans’ score of 9.800 for MSU. Ali’s score of 9.875 was tied for the top score across the entire event with Michigan State’s Elena Lagoski [9.875 on floor].

BG had the highest individual scores for vault and bars, while MSU led on the balance beam and floor.

The Falcons travel to Knoxville, Tennessee on Jan. 17 to compete in the Ozone Collegiate Classic with Alaska Anchorage, Brigham Young [BYU], and Wisconsin-Whitewater. The following week begins Mid-American Conference play as BG travels to Eastern Michigan for a dual meet.