Feb. 16, 2013
The University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team recorded a season-high team score and posted season highs on five events on Saturday night at Oklahoma.
Despite the Gophers' success they still came up short against No. 2 Oklahoma, as the Sooners topped the sixth-ranked Gophers 443.350 - 435.450. Oklahoma, which also recorded a season-high team score, has now won 20 straight home meets and has not lost in Norman since 2007.
Minnesota tallied a team score of 435.450, which bested their previous high this year of 431.200 at home against Nebraska and UIC. The Gophers also posted season-high scores on floor exercise (74.750), pommel horse (70.950), still rings (73.600), high bar (72.750) and parallel bars (71.400).
Minnesota's previous high score on the floor exercise was 74.400 against Nebraska and UIC and its previous high on the pommel horse was 69.450 at the Windy City Invitational. The Gophers previous high on the still rings was 73.200 against Air Force, while their previous high on the high bar was 72.500 against Nebraska and UIC. Minnesota's previous season-high on parallel bars was 71.150 against Air Force.
"With the exception of not beating Oklahoma, it was a pretty good night." said Gopher coach Mike Burns. "We left a few points out there, but to go out on the road and record your highest team score of the year is a pretty good thing to do."
Zack Chase won the vault for Minnesota with a 15.200, while Steve Jaciuk took top honors on high bar with a career-high 15.350. Jaciuk also led the Gophers with a 15.100 on the rings and a 15.150 on parallel bars.
"He did a great job," Burns said of Jaciuk. "He scored at least 15.000 on all three events tonight, which were all personal bests. He stuck his dismounts on rings and on high bar, so that was good and he almost stuck on parallel bars as well."
The highlight of the night for the Gophers was the pommel horse, as Minnesota broke 70.000 for the first time this year. Ellis Mannon led Minnesota with a 14.950 on the event.
"We finally broke 70," said Burns. "It is an event that has given us a little bit of trouble this year, but tonight the guys were confident, swung well and did not hold back."
The Gophers complete their three-meet road trip at UIC next weekend. Minnesota's next home meet is at 7 p.m. on March 2 against Iowa in the Sports Pavilion.
Wittenberg's NCAA Address
Alex Wittenberg was chosen as the student-athlete representative for the 2016 Men's Gymnastics NCAA Championships.
Gophers Finish Sixth at NCAA Championships
Minnesota tallied four All-America finishes and its best team finish in nine years.
Gophers Advance to NCAA Day 2
Minnesota finished second in Session 1 and is guaranteed its highest NCAA finish since 2007.