Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. And for senior transfer Shanna Duggan of the Michigan women’s gymnastics team, imitation was the key that opened the door to the hearts of her new teammates.

On Halloween night, Duggan performed a floor routine that no one on the team would forget.

While the senior class, up for the holiday, dressed as male gymnasts, Duggan broke into her best impression of a male gymnast’s floor routine.

“She did all these really funny poses,” senior Chelsea Kroll said. “It was just hilarious, and she really let loose that day. (It) made us all laugh.

“She’s a little bit goofy, and she’s not really afraid to show that to (the team). Being with another team for so many years and (still) being able to be that open with us, it really says something about her.”

The Wolverines can be thankful that Duggan — who spent the three previous seasons at Central Michigan — will do more than provide comic relief.

The Ontario native adds depth to an already solid lineup, which includes three-time national champion Elise Ray and two All-Americans — sophomore Lindsey Bruck and junior Jenny Deiley.

“We’re expecting a lot from her (this season),” coach Bev Plocki said of the added depth Duggan brings to the table.

Plocki also mentioned that the performance of the team during a meet may hinge on the performance of the vaulters and uneven bars specialist. Duggan — a MAC champion on the vault in 2002 — will be a big key to Michigan’s success. So no surprise that Duggan felt some pressure coming in.

“(There was) pressure, and I was also excited, too,” Duggan said. “It’s my last year, and I get a chance to go to nationals and do the things I’ve always wanted to do.”

At Central Michigan, Duggan gained the reputation as one of the best vaulters in the MAC. But her issues with the Chippewas’ workout program were a big reason for Duggan’s transfer.

“The conditioning and everything was a bit over the top,” Duggan said. “I’m getting old, and I can’t handle that anymore. I really needed a change, and I am glad I got the opportunity to.”

Duggan said that the workout program at Michigan was much smarter. Athletes never tumble and vault on the same day of practice because that can cause unnecessary wear and tear on a gymnast’s body, she said. Duggan was quick to point out that she had no problems with her former teammates and that she is still best friends with a few of them.

But the transition for Duggan at Michigan has been smooth.

“It’s been awesome, and the girls have been so great,” Duggan said. “I think they understood that I was kind of nervous, too. I’m sure they were, and I don’t blame them one bit. But I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Michigan has an intrasquad scrimmage at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Crisler Arena.

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