LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- Minnesota's goal all season long was to qualify as a team for the 2013 NCAA Championships. Two weeks ago today at the Gainesville Regional, that goal was achieved, as the Gophers finished second to Florida with a team score of 197.100.
Shortly after that meet had ended, the team's new rallying cry became "Super Six." The Golden Gophers had accomplished the amazing feat of becoming one of just 12 women's gymnastics teams to advance to Los Angeles, and now the goal was to advance beyond the semifinals.
On Friday at Pauley Pavilion, Minnesota competed in its semifinal on the big stage against five of the other top teams in the nation -- Florida, LSU, Georgia, Stanford and Illinois. The Gophers gave it everything they had, competing with tremendous heart and passion in front of an incredible group of fans that included Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague.
The support for the team was fantastic. Minnesota's Facebook page and Twitter account were getting flooded with positive comments from proud Gophers fans from all over the country.
At the end of the first semifinal, Minnesota stood in fourth place with a team total of 196.375 points. It wasn't enough for the Gophers to advance to Saturday's Super Six, but this team was able to experience first-hand what it takes to move on and the table is set for future teams to make return trips to the NCAA Championships.
Minnesota loses a pair of amazing leaders and talented gymnasts in Janell Campbell and Shannon Golich. They will be missed. Golich was a First Team All-Big Ten selection this season, and Campbell served as the team's captain and earned a spot on the Big Ten's All-Championships Team at last month's Big Ten Championships.
But the future of this program is bright. On Friday, a pair of freshmen -- Lindsay Mable and Hanna Nordquist -- advanced to Sunday's Individual Event Finals. By doing so, they both earned NACGC/W First Team All-America status -- Mable on both vault and floor, and Nordquist on beam.
Rest assured, the Gophers already have their team goals set for next season, and those goals include a trip to Birmingham, Ala., for the 2014 NCAA Championships.