Jan. 4, 2012
The season opener for the Golden Gopher men's gymnastics team is just over a week away. The eight-ranked Gophers will have their final performance this Friday at 7 p.m. in the Sports Pavilion, where they will host their annual Alumni meet. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.
The Alumni meet gives the team one last opportunity to show off the routines they have been perfecting during the off-season before the real season begins.
"The guys have been working very hard all fall semester and the season is finally here, so it's time to get busy and show what they are capable of," head coach Mike Burns said. "We always use the Alumni meet as a final dress rehearsal before heading to Chicago for the kickoff meet of the year, the Windy City Invitational."
The meet is always a fun event for both the current team and the former Gopher gymnasts who get to come back and compete against the younger athletes. The alumni have yet to lose the annual event, which has been going on for more than 40 years.
"This is always a fun event for the Alumni because they always seem to win! It's 44 straight years the Alumni have won, so I think they're onto something," Burns said. "On a serious note though, this is a great event for the Alumni to try to feel young again. And it's a great tune-up for the Varsity squad a week before the season begins."
The event also gives the men's team a chance to see what work they still have left to do and what adjustments need to be made heading into the season. The first
official meet is the Windy City Invitation on Saturday, January 14 in Chicago.
"We'll be competing every week after the Windy City Invite, and the guys are ready for the excitement of another competition season. I think this team has potential to be very strong," Burns said. "The key will be how mentally and physically tough they are when it's time to perform. I'm feeling good about how this team looks at this point in the season. Next week we will see how we stack up against the competition."