2010 Preview: Vault In our series previewing the upcoming Gopher Gymnastics season, we take a look at Minnesota's prospects on the vault.
Of the six events in collegiate men's gymnastics, Minnesota was the most successful on the vault in 2009. The Gophers finished last season with a No. 4 national ranking on the vault and also had an All-America performer in then-freshman D.J. Repp.
The Gophers have been a traditionally strong team on the vault. Head coach Mike Burns expects his team to be very successful on that apparatus again for the upcoming 2010 season.
"I think vault is going to be a really good event for us again," Burns said. "This year, I think we're going to be one of the top two or three teams in the country on vault. We've got everybody back. We're going to be in good shape on vault this year."
One of the mainstays on the vault for Minnesota is senior Adam Reichow. He tallied two of the Gophers' top four scores on the event last season and narrowly missed competing in the vault finals at the NCAA Championships. Reichow has been impressed with his teammates in preparation for this season.
"This is going to be the best vault team that we've had in the five years I've been here," Reichow said. "We're going to be good. I think it is going to be definitely our most competitive lineup to make, as well as our most dominating event."
Repp earned All-America status on the vault last season, putting up scores of 15.900 and 15.850 during the NCAA Championships. He finished sixth in the event at last year's championship meet.
"D.J. Repp's looking very good," Burns said.
But there is going to be plenty of competition to make the six-man lineup on the vault. Burns said he's been impressed with Repp, Reichow, Andre Berry, Cole Storer, Colin McGuire and Adam LaFleur.
"We've got a lot of guys who are stepping up," Burns said. "It's going to be a battle to see who's going to be the best guy in the gym."
Reichow, who Burns said has been "on fire" and is the team's top vaulter at this point in the preseason, hopes to earn All-America status on both the vault and floor exercise in 2010. He accomplished that feat as a freshman back in 2007.
In the past, Reichow has started the season with a less difficult vault and worked his way up to more difficult skills. He's confident his vault is already where it needs to be for late in the season and hopes that will help him have a better season.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Reichow said. "I'm feeling the most prepared that I've ever felt for a competition season, so I'm excited about it."
The Gophers will have their first opportunity to show off their 2010 vault lineup Friday night at the annual Alumni Meet, which is slated for 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota opens the regular season Jan. 16 at the Windy City Invitational at the University of Illinois-Chicago.