WMU News

Gymnasts survive earthquake scare, win meet

March 1, 2001

SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Western Michigan University gymnastics team, just hours after surviving a major earthquake, defeated Seattle-Pacific, 194.025-193.700, in non-conference action Wednesday night (Feb. 28).

Six of the 16 squad members and five support staff personnel were sight-seeing in Seattle's Space Needle Wednesday morning when the region was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. The rest of the travel party was on the ground at the time.

"Being in the Space Needle during an earthquake was not something on our itinerary," coach Terry Casperson told the Cable News Network (CNN). Casperson said the Space Needle staff "did a great job keeping people calm."

There were no injuries reported among any of the students or staff from WMU, and those who were in the tower returned to the ground about 30 minutes after the earthquake and following a safety inspection of the tower's elevator system.

In the evening contest versus Seattle-Pacific, the Broncos came from behind to claim the victory in the final two events after the meet was tied at 96.600 halfway through the competition. Strong team performances in the floor exercise and on the balance beam allowed WMU to survive a school-tally of 193.700 by Seattle-Pacific.

While Western Michigan did not record a single team best in any event, four solid performances allowed the squad to tally their third-straight score of more than 194 points.

Senior Amy Kinsey garnered the top individual score on vault, earning a 9.775 from the judges. Junior Amy DeYoung, a native of West Linn, Ore., and sophomore Annie Adkins notched identical scores of 9.800 on the uneven bars to tie for first place. WMU broke 48.000 in the event, despite having to count a fall.

Junior Kristen Maul continued her strong performance on the season, collecting solid scores on vault (9.700), balance beam (9.800) and floor exercise (9.850).

The Broncos wrap up their spring trip at Washington on Sunday, March 4. Nationally ranked Utah will also compete in the triangular meet.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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