By Kim Conley Athletic Communications Student Assistant
The Gophers won their first home meet of the 2012 season over the UIC Flames by a final score of 339.4-321.3.
It was a bit of a rocky start on the first two events, the floor and pommel horse. But the team rebounded with some solid performances and finished the meet strong.
"It was a rough start for us on floor and pommel horse," head coach Mike Burns said. "But we did really well on the last four events and had a solid finish. We scored higher than we did last week despite the difficult start, so that's encouraging."
Senior Russell Dabritz earned the Cooke Award for his outstanding performances. He won the pommel horse event with a 13.8, the still rings with a 14.7, and came in third on the parallel bars.
"As a team we improved a lot from last week," Dabritz said. "It felt good to do so well individually because I had a couple falls last week. Today's performances will definitely help me in the future meets."
Freshman Kyle Banks excelled today as well. The walk-on from Perris, California finished second on the floor exercise with a score of 15.0 and second on the high bar with a 14.3.
"Kyle was a very close second for the Cooke Award," Burns said. "He's been outstanding for us and did great today. I'm very pleased with Kyle this season so far."
The Gophers swept the top three spots on the pommel horse, still rings, vault, and high bar.
Zack Chase finished first on the vault with a 15.1. Ross Cameratta won the parallel bars event with a 14.9. And freshman Ellis Mannon was the high bar champion with a score of 14.5.
"The routines that were hit were done very well," Burns said. "We know what we have to do to fix the routines that were missed. The guys were physically ready. It's the mental game now that we have to work on."