Gophers Fall To No. 1 Penn State
Final Stats (PDF)
The University of Minnesota men’s gymnastics team concluded the regular season with a 433.650-428.00 loss to No. 1 Penn State on Saturday night at the Sports Pavilion. The No. 7 Gophers return to action when they host the Big Ten Championships on April 5-6.
“We kind of kicked ourselves in the butt today,” said Minnesota head coach Mike Burns. “We had five misses today. If you add one point for each miss, that is five points and puts us at 433.000. That would have been a little more exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased with a lot of things. There were a lot of things that went well tonight. I wish we just would have made it a little more of competition.
“Penn State is a very good team, but I think we can hang with them if we perform better. That is what I hope our guys realize.”
The Gophers opened the meet with a 73.300 on the floor exercise, which was their best score on the event since collegiate gymnastics switched to the new scoring format in March where five gymnasts compete and all five scores count. Minnesota’s best score of the floor exercise this year was a 74.750, which it tallied at Oklahoma under the previous scoring system where six gymnasts competed and only the top five scores counted.
The Gophers notched five scores of 14.150 or better on the floor and were paced by Sean Bauer who recorded a 15.000, It was his third highest score on the event this year.
Minnesota then turned to the pommel horse when it tallied a 71.800, which was its second-best performance of the year. Ellis Mannon, who is ranked No. 3 nationally on the pommel horse, registered a 15.000 to tie for event honors with Penn State’s Craig Hernandez, who is ranked No. 5.
“The highlight of the meet was the pommel horse,” said Burns. “I thought it was the best we have done on that event all year as a team. It was really, really good.”
Through the first two rotations (floor exercise and pommel horse) Penn State led the Gophers 146.500-145.100.
The Nittany Lions pulled away from the Gophers on the still rings and vault, leading the overall meet 293.750-287.200 after four rotations. Penn State totaled a 73.800 on still rings and a 73.450 on vault, compared to Minnesota’s 71.450 and 70.650, respectively. The Gophers were led by Jack Metcalf on the rings with a 15.000 (second in the event) and by Adam Kern’s 14.750 on the vault (fourth in the event).
Israeli Olympian Felix Aronovich won the parallel bars for Penn State with a 15.050, while Gopher Matt Frey tied for second with a 14.650.
Third-ranked Steve Jaciuk won the high bar competition with a 14.900 upstaging No. 1-ranked Wasef Burbar (12.700) who fell and No. 2-ranked Matt Felleman (14.850). The Gophers totaled 70.200 points on high bar to Penn State’s 67.350.
“We had the three best guys in the country in the high bar here,” said Burns. “That was awesome. Steve beat the top two guys in the country and I am thrilled. I thought we finished great on the high bar. Steve had a great finish with a 14.900 and Spencer Smith started us out with a stuck landing. It was nice to finish strong.”