March 18, 2012
The sixth-ranked Gophers tallied a new season-high on Saturday against No. 4 Penn State. But Minnesota’s 347.9 was not enough to get them past the Nittany Lions who put up a 359.3, the nation’s highest score of the season so far.
“Penn State is always a tough place to compete,” head coach Mike Burns said. “They were on fire and had their best meet of the year. But I’m very pleased we were able to go in there and score a new season-high, which is no easy task.”
The Gophers opened the meet on the pommel horse, an event they struggled on last weekend. They saw a great improvement from their last meet, going six for six on the event. They were led by John Scallon who scored a 14.3.
On their next event, the floor exercise, Harris Coleman tied for second with a 15.1. The score was a new season-high for Coleman.
The vault was not as sharp as it has been in recent competitions, but Minnesota was still able to get four good scores to earn them a team score of 58.8. DJ Repp finished in second with a 14.9, and Adam LaFleur tied for third with a 14.8.
On the still rings Russell Dabritz tied his season-high score of 15.2. Dabrtiz also scored a 14.9 on the parallel bars, tying him for first on the event. It was Minnesota’s only first place finish of the evening.
Steve Jaciuk was the top scorer for the Gophers on the high bar. He posted a 14.7, which was a new career-high for the freshman. Dabritz finished behind him with a 14.6.
“It was a good competition for us overall,” Burns said. “We had our share of mistakes, but we were able to spread them out so that we didn’t have to count any misses. With it being a coed event and an alumni reunion, there were over 3,000 people there, so it was a great experience for the guys to perform in front of a larger crowd.”
The Gophers registered a hit percentage of about 75%. They are hoping to push into the 80-85% range next weekend in their final regular meet of the season.