Kim Conley Athletic Communications Student Assistant
The vault has been a historically strong event for the Gophers’ men’s gymnastics team. This year looks to be no different.
The team finished third in the 2011 team standings for vault, ahead of all other Big Ten teams. They were led by Zack Chase, who finished ranked third in the country. Chase also won the Big Ten Championships on vault as a freshman.
“It was exciting to win the Big Ten Championships last year,” Chase said. “It was definitely a highlight of my career. I hope to be able to do it again this season.”
The Gophers had big contributions from DJ Repp as well. Repp finished the year ranked ninth in the nation. Adam LaFleur and Adam Kern also ended the season ranked in the top 25.
That creates a pretty strong lineup of returners this season. But still the group is relatively young. Repp will be the only senior on vault this year.
Sophomore Zack Chase is the team’s strongest returning member. They will also depend on sophomores Adam Kern and Matt Frey. Both qualified for the Big Ten finals on the vault last season. Junior Josh Wokurka is another returner. Wokurka competed on vault in the NCAA Championships last year.
There is still an opportunity for some young talent to make it into the lineup. Freshman Sean Bauer and sophomore Justin Morinishi are two names to watch for.
“It looks like we’ll have some decent depth and some pretty strong vaults this year,” head coach Mike Burns said. “I think the vault will be a strong event for us again this year and will help pace the team as our competition season begins.”