Senior Megan Moore wasn’t recruited by the Michigan women’s gymnastics coach Bev Plocki.
Four years ago, the high school standout sent Plocki a video, and Plocki told her she would probably be able to walk on.
For three seasons, the Rochester Hills native balanced her engineering courses with gymnastics practice every day. She dressed in uniform, waved and smiled for introductions and cheered on her teammates at each meet.
But she never got a chance to perform in a real competition and score points for her team.
Until this season.
Moore made her collegiate debut in this season’s opening meet, posting a 9.575 in her only event, beam.
Her high marks in the event earned her high marks from her coaches. Moore has now assumed a regular role on the team, competing on beam in all but one meet this season.
“I feel like I’ve been preparing for it these past few years,” Moore said. “I really don’t regret that I didn’t get to compete until this year, because it meant that much more to me that I finally made it into lineup this year.”
At the State of Michigan Classic on Feb. 2, she gave a highlight-worthy performance and won the beam title with a score of 9.850. Her victory was key to Michigan’s dominating win over four other in-state colleges. She also competed on the uneven bars at the meet.
“In a year where we have a lot of talent and a lot of depth, here she is, a senior, who has earned her spot in the beam lineup,” Plocki said. “I think that speaks volumes about the commitment she has and the kind of work ethic she has.”
Every day at practice, Plocki goes through a checklist with each gymnast and keeps track of who is hitting their routines. Moore is among the most consistent performers. Plocki said she has been hitting almost all of her beam routines for weeks.
Last year, Moore changed the flight series in her beam routine, and the new combination of a round-off layout step-out has given her a higher start value and the potential to earn a higher score.
Plocki is proud of Moore’s sudden emergence.
“It’s amazing how much this young woman has progressed every single year,” Plocki said. “I think that every one of her teammates respects her so much because of how much she loves the sport and how hard she works to improve.”
Moore is the ideal example of a student-athlete. As a mechanical engineering major, she has had to balance challenging schoolwork and the long gymnastics season.
She’s won more academic awards than event titles, but that just shows her dedication to classes and passion for gymnastics.
Her accolades include Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2006 and 2007. The University has also honored her with its U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award every year of her career.
“I admire her so much,” Plocki said. “Not only is she just a wonderful kid and a hard worker and passionately loves this sport and loves this team, she’s also an exceptional student. This young woman is very special.”