Gophers Prepare to Host Illinois, Nebraska Following a strong showing at the Windy City Invitational last weekend in Chicago, the University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team now prepares for its regular season home opener.
Following a strong showing at the Windy City Invitational last weekend in Chicago, the University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team now prepares for its regular season home opener.
The No. 7 Gophers will be hosting No. 1 Illinois and No. 11 Nebraska this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
Having a loaded lineup of teams in one building will give the Gophers an opportunity to show that they belong amongst the top teams in the country.
"Illinois won the Windy City last weekend and they're going be really tough, and a great opponent here at home," Minnesota head coach Mike Burns said. "Nebraska is an up and coming team with a lot of young talent and they're going to be coming up here hungry. We're going to have to be on our best game this weekend to have a successful competition."
The Gophers will be looking to build off the success they had last weekend at the Windy City Invitational, where they finished third with a team score of 340.7. The third-place finish is tied for the highest placing Minnesota has had at the event in the last 10 years.
"The guys did a nice job [at the Windy City]," Burns said. "We still have a lot of room for improvement, which is a good sign, but from a coaching perspective, the team really stepped it up, stayed focused, and fought really all the way through the meet."
Moving On Up
The Gophers climbed to No. 7 in the national rankings this week after beginning the season at No.8 in the preseason coaches poll. A complete list of rankings, including team rankings by event can be viewed here.
The University of Minnesota has eight individual athletes ranked in the top 20 nationally in their respective events. Zack Chase, Josh Wokurka and DJ Repp are all tied for 16th on the floor exercise. John Scallon ranks No. 7 on the pommel horse, while Stephen Beck is 11th and Michael Hillin is 16th in the event. Repp and Matt Frey are tied at No. 6 on the vault. Adam LaFleur is ranked No. 7 on the parallel bars. Repp is also ranked No. 11 on the all-around.
Holding Ground in the Windy City
The Gophers began their regular season last weekend with a strong showing at the Windy City Invitational as they finished in third place with a score of 340.7. The third-place finish is tied for the highest placing Minnesota has had at the event in the last 10 years.
Fountain of Youth
After losing eight seniors to graduation following the 2010 season, the Gophers reloaded with young talent as they carry eight competing freshman this season. Several of the freshman Gophers have already made solid contributions to the team at the Windy City Invitational, including Matt Frey who took third on the vault with a score of 15.8, and John Scallon who took fifth on the pommel horse with a score of 14.3
Minnesota will be facing two of the top men's gymnastics teams in the country this weekend as it hosts Illinois and Nebraska. The Fighting Illini enter the weekend ranked No. 1 while the Cornhuskers come in ranked No. 11 nationally. This will be the last time Nebraska will be considered a non-conference opponent as it gets set to join the Big Ten next season.