No. 8 Auburn Hits the Road to Take on Michigan State
March 5, 2009
The No. 8 Auburn gymnastics team (5-4, 3-3 SEC) will travel to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State (8-10, 1-6 Big 10) on Friday at 6 p.m. CT in Jension Fieldhouse. Live stats for Friday's meet can be found on www.msuspartans.com.
"Our goals this meet are the same that they have been for the previous meets, to hit all 24 routines and have fun," head gymnastics coach Jeff Thompson said. "Our team has been very consistent and we are looking to continue that trend. This will be our last road meet before we start postseason competition and it's important that everyone continues to do their job on each event."
The Tigers, who are on the road for the second week in a row, will look to rebound against the Spartans after suffering a 197.350-196.175 loss to Alabama last week. A.J. Mills was the lone titlist for Auburn, earning a share of the beam title with a 9.9. Despite the loss, the Tigers scored a 196 or better for the seventh time this season and did not have to count a fall. Auburn has only counted one fall in 216 routines and Mills has hit all 36 routines she has performed this season.
This week in GymInfo's rankings, Auburn moved three spots, from fifth to eighth. The Tigers own a RQS of 196.310 and are ranked fourth on floor (49.180), eighth on beam (49.055), 11th on bars (48.990) and 12th on vault (49.095).
Lindsey Puckett is listed as the nation's No. 4 all-arounder (39.450) and Mills is one spot back at fifth (39.420). Individually, Puckett ranks tied for fourth on beam, is sixth on floor and is tied for seventh on vault. Mills ties for 10th on beam.
Michigan State does not have any gymnasts ranked among the top 20 on any events or in the all-around. As a team, the Spartans are ranked 25th on bars (48.685), 28th on both vault (48.765) and floor (48.770) and 29th on beam (48.445).
"Michigan State is a very good team and will certainly bring out the best in our ladies," Thompson said. "They have had some trouble this year with hitting all four events in the same meet, but we usually bring out the best in every team we see so we expect it to be a very good meet."
Last week the Spartans traveled to Columbia, Mo., to compete in the Missouri Cat Classic hosted by Missouri. The Spartans finished second to Missouri, 195.275-194.750, followed by Cal State Fullerton (193.275) and Western Michigan (192.875). Michigan State posted a season high 49.025 on bars.
Individually, Rochelle Robinson took first on bars with a 9.9 and tied for second on vault with a 9.85 in the quad-meet. Nicole Curler was beam titlist with a 9.925 and Nikki Argiros tied for second on floor with a 9.85.
Auburn is 9-5 all-time against the Spartans and the Tigers have won seven straight over Michigan State. The two teams met in Auburn in 2008, with the Tigers picking up a 195.325-194.050 victory. Michigan State last defeated Auburn on April 13, 1996, at the NCAA Central Regional by a score of 193.850-193.100.
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