UAA gymasts excel in loss

BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News

The UAA gymnastics team made the most of its final home meet of the season, posting its best score of the season and sixth-best in program history.

With four seniors making their final appearance at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, the team's younger competitors made Sunday a day to remember by making big contributions to UAA's team score of 192.625, its best of the season by nearly two points, a gigantic margin in gymnastics.

The meet was UAA's last before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Davis, Calif., on March 24.

"Our whole goal was to peak for the conference meet, and that seems to be happening," UAA coach Paul Stoklos said. "We've had some minor setbacks all season long, but we're doing a good job of overcoming those."

Michigan State won the dual meet with 195.425 points, but the Seawolves enjoyed plenty of little triumphs, including 13 career-high scores.

Freshmen Morgan Cook (38.4 points) and Sariaye Jensen (38.175) delivered personal-best all-around scores and sophomore Emily Petersen turned in an impressive three-event performance to lead the Seawolves. Petersen scored 9.775 on uneven parallel bars and 9.825 on balance beam, both team-highs for the season.

Among the seniors, Kathleen Mantell registered career-bests on bars (9.65) and beam (9.775), while Shakea Sanders earned UAA's top vault of the day with a 9.75. Kaelei Spoor recorded the Seawolves' second-best score on floor with a 9.7, and Jackie Thomas contributed to UAA's season-high 48.000 bars total with a 9.4.

"Morgan is really coming through as a freshman. We're glad that she's here and that she's really settling into her gymnastics," Stoklos said. "I think the seniors -- especially Shakea and Kaelei -- are finally getting back to health and we could put the pressure on our competition at the conference meet."

Michigan State 195.425, UAA 192.625

All-around -- 1) Dani Levy, MSU, 38.900; 2) Morgan Cook, UAA, 38.400; 3) Sariaye Jensen, UAA, 38.175. Vault -- 1) Ashley Noll, MSU, 9.875. UAA results -- 6) Shakea Sanders, UAA, 9.750; 8) Sariaye Jensen, UAA, 9.650; 9) Kaelei Spoor, UAA, 9.625; 10) Melissa Doucette, UAA, 9.550; 11) Emily Petersen, UAA, 9.475; 12) Morgan Cook, UAA, 9.250. Bars -- 1) Jackie Berg, MSU, 9.850. UAA results -- 2) Emily Petersen, UAA, 9.775; 7) Kathleen Mantell, UAA, 9.650; 8) Sariaye Jensen, UAA, 9.600; 9) Morgan Cook, UAA, 9.575; 10) Jackie Thomas, UAA, 9.400; 12) Paige Pirie, UAA, 8.650. Balance beam -- 1) Sarena Bumbarger, MSU, 9.925. UAA results -- 3) Emily Petersen, UAA, 9.825; 6) Morgan Cook, UAA, 9.800; 7) Kathleen Mantell, UAA, 9.775; 10) Shakea Sanders, UAA, 9.525; 11) Sariaye Jensen, UAA, 9.300; 12) Kaelei Spoor, UAA, 9.200. Floor exercise -- 1) Jackie Berg, MSU, 9.850. UAA results -- 3) Morgan Cook, UAA, 9.775; 6) Kaelei Spoor, UAA, 9.700; 7), tie Sariaye Jensen, UAA, Paige Pirie, UAA, and Kathleen Mantell, UAA, 9.625; 10) Shakea Sanders, UAA, 9.475.

Anchorage Daily News