EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – When the Michigan State gymnastics team reached the regional final in 2022, it set its goals even higher for the following season.
Fast forward nine months and the 14th ranked Spartans have done something the program hasn’t done in 16 years – defeat rival Michigan.
On Sunday night, Jenison Field House saw a sold-out crowd for MSU’s Title IX/Alumni meet and those in attendance got to see the Spartans take down No. 3 Michigan, 197.200-196.975.
Freshman Nikki Smith captured the all-around title by posting a career-best 39.525. All-in-all it was a night the Spartans will never forget.
“It felt so exciting because I’ve been training so hard,” Smith said. “Just to stick the landing, it felt so exciting to celebrate with my team.”
MSU gymnastics coach Mike Rowe said, “There’s a lot of emotion right now. I’m kind of holding some of them back. I see the numbers up there, I believe it, we’ve signed off on the scorers’ sheets so it’s real.”
Michigan came in as the reigning Big Ten champions and only a year removed from winning the 2021 national championship. So, this win means a lot more than just beating a rival.
“Knowing the tradition of that program (Michigan), where they’ve been, where they’ve come from, what they’ve done in so many years. To know we did that tonight, I’m so proud of the girls,” Rowe said.