YPSILANTI After sophomore Christine Mantillia and junior Cami Singer both fell in their floor routines at the State of Michigan Classic yesterday, it was clear that Michigan would not be posting a floor exercise score near the 49.325 it earned against Florida on Friday.
But that did not deter the Wolverines from putting together their second dominating performance in three days with a score of 196.3, nearly three points better than the 193.65 their closest competitor, Michigan State, could muster.
Senior co-captain Jodie Rosenberg was the third Wolverine in the floor exercise and ended up tying a career high in the event with a 9.875, preventing any type of disastrous chain reaction.
“I knew that we needed a little bit more energy out there,” Rosenberg said, “so I just went out there and tried to have fun. It kind of got things rolling again.”
After career-best scores from freshman Kallie Steffes (9.90) and junior co-captain Janessa Grieco (9.95), sophomore Callie Ryals put the icing on the cake, earning her second perfect 10 in as many weeks in the event.
Ryals became just the seventh Michigan gymnast to score two 10″s in the same season.
“I think I”m a lot more aggressive now,” Ryals said. “We had an awesome weekend, and that gets us fired up to get back in the gym and work for that extra improvement we need to show up next weekend.”
The 10 was just part of another outstanding all-around day for Ryals. She set a career high with a 9.95 on the uneven bars along with solid scores of 9.80 and 9.875 on the vault and balance beam. Her total score of 39.625, a season best, earned Ryals her fifth straight all-around title.
The floor was actually causing Michigan problems before the meet even began. The gymnasts were complaining about the hard surface of the floor equipment, a condition they had not yet seen this year.
It was for this reason that senior Melissa Peterson was pulled from the floor exercise, with her already injured shin in mind.
“My concern was that she was just giving us everything she had,” Michigan coach Bev Plocki said “and it was just too early in the season for her to be doing that.”
Peterson”s work ethic applies to the rest of the team”s seniors as well. Along with the spark she provided in the floor routine, Rosenberg also set a career-best in the vault yesterday.
“I can”t say enough about my whole senior class,” Plocki said. “I”ve had seniors step up in events they never expected to do at the beginning of the season. They”ve just been kicking some serious butt all the way around this season.”
Sophomore Elise Ray continued to show positive signs that her heel injury is improving, although it is still keeping her out of all-around competition. She scored no lower than a 9.8 in her three events on the day, including a 9.925 on the uneven bars that was good enough for second place in the event behind Ryals.
The Wolverines now have a week to nurse and train before they welcome No. 2 Georgia to Crisler Arena on Sunday.