LOS ANGELES — For some people, superstition works.
Michigan freshman Lindsey Bruck brought her trusty, worn bathmat to
the balance beam Saturday at the NCAA event finals, and gave a
performance that suited her status as first-team All American on
the event, a sixth place finish.

“It’s been with her since about 1997,” her
mother, Mary Bruck, said. “We can’t wash it, so we use
a lot of Febreze.”

The mat was used when Lindsey was learning the front tuck mount
onto the balance beam. In training, she would place it on the beam
to cushion her feet and help them grip better. But now, Bruck just
makes sure to stand on the mat right before she starts her beam

“The mat is very well-traveled,” Mary Bruck said.
“It’s been in California, Oregon, Oklahoma, lots of

She also noted that several times the Brucks have had to drive
back to a gym or hotel to retrieve the forgotten bathmat.

“(Assistant coach) Scott (Sherman) has even tried to throw
it out, or convince her to have a piece of it framed,” Mary
Bruck said with a laugh.

Bruck laughed as well when asked about the incident.

“When I first got to the gym, it was in the trash and I
kind of had to take it out,” Bruck said.

The freshman’s appearance in the event finals at the
National Championships capped a stellar year for the freshman, who
consistently competed in the all-around for Michigan all season.
She was named to the All-Big Ten second team after earning a career
high 9.900 on floor and a 9.900 on beam at the Big Ten

Bruck’s sixth place finish tied her with her former
training mate and role model, senior Lindsay Wing of Stanford. Both
earned a 9.850.

“She’s a good friend,” Bruck said.
“I’ve known her since I was 11 years old. I’m
very happy to tie with her.”

Of standing on the podium in front of 4,373 fans, Bruck said it
was “amazing.”

“It was incredible. There’s no words to describe
it,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to be at your
first nationals and be on the podium.”

Michigan coach Bev Plocki agreed.

“Today was an exciting day for (junior) Elise (Ray) and
Lindsey and the whole team,” Plocki said.

And the freshman has three more years to better her

“Next year, we’ll come back for more,” Bruck

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