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Season-High Mark Powers Gymnastics Past Alaska-Anchorage on Senior Night


Spartan seniors - Argiros and Morley - sweep event crowns.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartan seniors - Argiros and Morley - sweep event crowns. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.


EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State gymnastics team posted its second season-high score in a row when it topped Alaska-Anchorage, 195.450-190.525, on Sunday, Feb. 27. The meet also marked the end of the home careers for four Spartans - Nicole Argiros, Nicole Heikkila, Kathryn Mahoney and Kelsey Morley - as they were honored on Senior Night. Argiros and Morley together swept all individual apparatus crowns for the Spartans.


"Tonight was incredible," said MSU head coach Kathie Klages. "What a magical night. I told them beforehand that you can't try too hard; you can't try something different, because it is your last time competing at home. You have to process and do your gymnastics. In 21 years of coaching, I have had two magical Senior Nights, and I would say tonight makes it No. 3."


Argiros opened the night with a bang as she earned the vault crown with freshman Dani Levy with a 9.825 mark. For Levy, her score marked a career-best total. Sophomore Shanthi Teike placed third with a 9.775 to give MSU the sweep of the event. The Spartans topped Alaska-Anchorage on the event by a score of 48.775 to 47.525.


Argiros earned her second event crown of the night when she tied with junior Daneen Haba on the uneven bars with scores of 9.825. Junior Jackie Berg and freshman Kelsey Mazur tied for third on the event with 9.800 marks. Mazur earned a career-best total tonight on the event with her score. MSU earned its second event win over UAA when it tied its season-best total of 49.000 to 48.400.


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Morley kept MSU's streak alive when she won the balance beam with a 9.825 mark. Freshman Sarena Bumbarger, Levy and freshman Alex Pace all tied for second on the event with a 9.725. Pace's mark earned her a career-best total on the apparatus. The Green and White achieved a season-best 48.700 to the Seawolves' 46.150.


Argiros completed the sweep of the events she competed in as she claimed the floor exercise with a score of 9.825. Levy joined Argiros in first when she tied her career-best. Berg posted her second top-3 performance of the night with a third-place score of 9.800. Michigan State swept the individual team apparatus scores with a score of 48.975 to 48.450.


Levy was the lone all-arounder for either team as she posted a winning score of 38.325.


Prior to tonight's meet, the three seniors were introduced with their parents to the crowd. Following the meet, a video tribute was shown on the video screen which highlighted the four seniors four years at Michigan State. As a special treat to fans, Mahoney watched the meet in its entirety via Skype with her family in Chicago. The Spartans carried a laptop to each apparatus and allowed Mahoney to view the team compete for the first time this season. At the conclusion of the meet Mahoney was recognized and shown on the video screen for all to see. Fans were then able to personally pass along words of encouragement to Mahoney as she remained on Skype after the meet for fans to talk to.


"I am just so thrilled the seniors preformed really, really well. I think that is absolutely wonderful. The highlight of the night for me was getting Kathryn Mahoney on the screen for everyone to see her. We were able to have her here for the meet (via Skype), and being able to have her watch her teammates perform was so special," Klages said.


The Spartans hit the road for their first of two straight road competitions to close out the season. MSU first will travel to Seattle, Wash., to face Washington on Friday, March 4 at 10 p.m. ET. The Green and White close out the year on Friday, March 11 when it faces Oklahoma at 8 p.m. ET in Norman, Okla.