Alumni Win 50th Straight in Gophers Friendly
Jan. 7, 2017

The University of Minnesota men’s gymnastics team held its 50th Annual Alumni Meet on Saturday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion for a friendly competition between the varsity roster and program alumni. The team of alumni kept their perfect winning streak alive over current Gophers with a final score of 425.300-400.400.

“It was great to have a crowd of alumni both competing and in the stands,” head coach Mike Burns said. “We’re always excited to have them back on campus.”

Nathan Fortunato (2014) grabbed the all-around title with a 85.100 after competing in all six events, and recent graduate Paul Montague (2016) was quick to follow with a 83.100. Justin Karstadt and Jalon Stephens also competed in the all-around, notching scores of 79.200 and 77.600, respectively.

Guillermo Alvarez (2005) captured the floor title with a 15.300. Joel Gagnon and Sean Bauer (2015) were tied for second with a score of 14.800.

Former National Champion Ellis Mannon (2014) claimed the pommel horse title for the alumni team with a 15.300. N. Fortunato and Montague followed with 14.400 and 14.100, respectively.

Steve Jaciuk (2015) earned the still rings title with a 15.300. N. Fortunato and Montague once again followed for second and third with scores of 14.500 and 14.400, respectively.

Yaroslav Pochinka earned the varsity roster’s lone event title with an impressive 15.100 on vault. The Gophers swept the top-three finishes, with Zach Liebler posting a 14.700 and Alex Wittenberg finishing with a 14.400.

Mannon grabbed another title for the alumni on parallel bars title with a 14.500. Rookie Timmy Kutyla placed second with a 13.800, and Stephens took third with a 13.600.

Sixty-year-old Reid Gysland (1979) won the high bar title with a 15.100. Mannon was a close second with a 15.000 and Danny DiBenedetto (2016) took third with a 14.500.

“Today’s competitors had some moments of brilliance and some rough spots,” Burns said. “Having this meet at the Sports Pavilion a week before our first official competition gives us an edge.”

No. 4 Minnesota will officially kick off the 2017 season at the Windy City Invitational next Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.




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The Minnesota men's gymnastics team finished second at the NCAA Championships, the best finish in program history.

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