Michigan State gymnastics ended its Big Ten campaign in Iowa City where the Spartans claimed second place in the Big Ten Championship with a score of 197.550.
From start to finish, the final session of the Big Ten Championship was a beautiful battle full of jaw-dropping performances from MSU, Michigan, Iowa and Ohio State.
The all-around competition was a tight battle that ultimately saw fifth-year Michigan gymnast Abby Heiskell on top, but a show-stopping day from MSU sophomore Skyla Schulte landed her in second place with a high 39.625.
To cap off the evening, the Spartans were awarded two Big Ten accolades. Nikki Smith was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year—the same title Schulte acquired just last year, and head coach Mike Rowe clinched Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.
Michigan State kicked off the Big Ten Championship on the floor. Senior Nyah Smith started the Spartans off with a solid 9.850 to set the tone for the evening.
Schulte was the standout MSU gymnast in the first rotation scoring a 9.925 and captivating the audience with her incredible routine.
With every Spartan gymnast scoring above 9.850 on the floor, the Spartans ended rotation one with a 49.425. Unfortunately for the Spartans, Michigan put up six scores above 9.900 to finish in first place with a 49.725.
Ohio State finished the first rotation in third, while Iowa sat in fourth.
Freshman Sage Kellerman was the standout Spartan in the second round with a 9.925 on vault to tie for first place on the apparatus in the Big Ten Championship.
Much like the first rotation, the Spartans were still trailing the Wolverines moving into their third rotation on the uneven bars.
Schulte got the ball rolling on the uneven bars with a performance that amounted to a 9.875.
Rotation three was full of impressive routines from start to finish topped off with a few stuck landings for the green and white.
Despite an amazing rotation from start to finish, it was junior Delanie Harkness who put on a show-stopping performance for Michigan State. Harkness ended her routine flawlessly to earn a 9.950, putting her in a six-way tie for first place on the uneven bars.
The fourth and final rotation on the beam turned out to be the most successful for the Spartans, as they put up a 49.525.
Schulte was once again a standout gymnast on the apparatus performing with a level of grace and composure that young gymnasts can only hope to achieve. Both Schulte and junior Baleigh Garcia made statements on the beam for a pair of 9.950s.
Unlike their earlier meeting this season, the Spartans fell to the Wolverines who scored a huge 198.000 to win the Big Ten Championship. Michigan State finished second with a 197.550, and Minnesota followed close behind with a 197.250.
It was not the outcome the Spartans hoped for, but luckily for them, their season is not over yet. On Monday at noon, Michigan State will find out when and where their regional competition will be held at the end of this month.