Gophers Host Alumni Meet Friday The Gopher varsity gymnasts will attempt to snap a 43-year "losing streak" to the alumni Friday night at the Sports Pavilion.
The University of Minnesota gymnastics team is staring at a losing streak of mammoth proportions. And there is every indication that losing streak will continue Friday at the Sports Pavilion.
In 40-plus years of competition, the Gophers have never defeated the Alumni squad. Despite competing against a team made up of men who are usually no longer competitive gymnasts and who are oftentimes middle-age, the varsity team just can't seem to find away to defeat the former Gophers.
Gopher head coach Mike Burns fully expects the losing streak to continue, when Minnesota hosts its annual Alumni Meet Friday at 7 p.m.
"The alumni have had a long streak, a long history of beating the varsity team," Burns said. "I'm not going to make any predictions that they're going to lose this one, because I'd probably be having to eat my words on Friday night."
Of course, Burns thinks the Alumni will win due to some more-than-generous judging for the Alumni squad which seems to take place nearly every year.
"The Alumni, you know they've been out in the working world, they've got some money, they know where the judges live, they send them big checks, bonuses, Christmas checks," Burns said, with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. "We just have to expect that the Alumni are going to win again."
All kidding aside, Burns is excited for the meet. The annual Alumni Meet signals the begin of the competitive season for the Gophers.
"It's always a fun meet," Burns said. "It's more of an opportunity for our guys to get out in front of people, in front of judges and have a little fun on the sideline with the Alumni."
Burns said some of the Alumni have actually been spending time in the Minnesota gym at Cooke Hall. He said some of them are looking pretty good for where they are in their lives and gymnastics careers. To see Burns' comments about this and a full interview regarding the Alumni Meet and the upcoming season, click the video below.
Burns said there is definitely a feeling in the gym that lets him know his guys are ready for the season to get started.
"There's an excitement level in the gym that's great to see, because we've been training since right before school started," Burns said. "It's a long preseason. That's a lot of training, a lot of monotony and a lot of hard work. But now that the competition season is here, you can see the excitement level in the gym that we haven't seen for the past couple months."
Following Fridays' exhibition meet with the Alumni, the Golden Gophers will officially get things started at the Windy City Invitational in Chicago on Jan. 16.