The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 15
By Katie Niemeyer
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - Going into the final rotation,
balance beam can be a gymnastics team's worst
nightmare. Unless Lindsey Bruck is on its side.
On Saturday, with All-American sophomore
Bruck on the beam for the Wolverines, women's
gymnastics coach Bev Plocki was completely
"When she mounts, I feel very at ease," Plocki
said. "I pretty much know what she's going to do
every time out."
Bruck approached her best apparatus knowing
that she needed a solid routine. Michigan's other
all-around competitor, junior Jenny Deiley, had
scored a 9.100 after a fall and another serious mis-
take during her beam routine.
"I was pretty confident just knowing that I'd
hit so many routines in practice," Bruck said. "I
knew that I had to pull together. We had a fall,
but that's what teammates are for - to help each
Bruck rose to the challenge. She hit a solid
routine, scoring a 9.850. This was enough to tie
Ohio State senior Elizabeth Meaney for first place
in the event and clinch the all-around title with a
score of 39.125. Minnesota junior Laura Johnson
ies strong ii
(38.850) finished second and Deiley (38.525) fin-
But Bruck's night did not start out quite as well
as it ended. Her floor routine was marred by a step
out of bounds - an unusual mistake for a usu-
ally consistent performer. Bruck's score of a 9.725
became a 9.625 due to the mandatory tenth-point
deduction given for going out-of-bounds.
Senior Chelsea Kroll suffered a season-end-
ing injury during the event's three-minute touch
warmups. Minutes away from the start of the
competition, Kroll was still being helped off the
floor. Bruck felt that the injury may have affected
"I was a little disappointed with the out of
bounds on floor," Bruck said. "But that's okay.
I pulled together, and it worked out in the end. I
wasn't prepared for that on floor. It was a little bit
of a shock. But once we got going, once we felt
the energy going through everyone, it was easy to
keep it going."
Bruck carried her momentum onto the vault, an
event in which she has had trouble in the past. She
competed on vault only five times last season with
an average score of 9.500.
"I'm really excited," Bruck said. "Last year,
I struggled with vault. I had an ankle injury in
the beginning, and it was hard. But this year I've
been working hard, trying to get a vault. I've been
working hard at sticking the landings."
Bruck scored a solid 9.825, good for a seventh-
place finish. Plocki was delighted with Bruck's
"I thought she had a great vault tonight," said
Plocki. "She has just really demonstrated that
she's mentally a very tough cookie. She's been
just a rock."
Bruck continued to shine on uneven bars where
she placed fourth with a 9.825. The score put her
in second place in the all-around heading onto the
final apparatus - balance beam.
"Bars and beam are probably two of her best
events," Plocki said. "I never like to jinx anybody,
but she's just been somebody that we know we can
count on. It's great to have that kind of faith in
your athletes - that you know unless something
really fluky happens, they're going to go out there
and do their best and take care of business."
Bruck's individual performance contributed
immensely to Michigan's team success. Her scores
counted toward the team score in three out of four
events in the Wolverines' win at the Ohio State
"I was really excited to help the team out," Bruck
said. "I'm just really excited about how the team
pulled together. It's going to be a good year."
Sophomore Lindsey Bruck captured the all-around title on Saturday with a 39.125.
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