Gophers to Face No. 10 Iowa, No. 11 Nebraska
Feb. 12, 2014
By Ben Gotz, Athletic Communications Student Assistant
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 6 Gopher men's gymnastics team will hit the road for the second week in a row this weekend as they travel to Iowa to take on No. 10 Iowa and No. 11 Nebraska. The meet will take place Saturday, Feb. 15 at noon CT, and will air live on the Big Ten Network.
The Gophers traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., last weekend to take on Air Force and came home with their second-straight win. Even though the Gophers dealt with injuries to some key gymnasts, they posted their second-highest score of the season and defeated Air Force 434.200 to 431.550.
Minnesota had individual champions in six of the seven events, with junior Ellis Mannon winning the all-around competition despite fighting through an injury. Senior Matt Frey posted the highest score of the meet with a 15.400 on parallel bars.
Gophers vs. Hawkeyes and Huskers
Minnesota has already faced both Iowa and Nebraska this season, emerging victorious both times.
At the Windy City Invitational, the Gophers finished just ahead of Iowa, placing fourth at the meet while the Hawkeyes finished fifth. Iowa was outscored 424.800 to 417.700, but they managed to post higher scores than the Gophers on the still rings and high bar.
The Gophers faced Nebraska two weeks ago at the Sports Pavilion, winning 435.200 to 420.700. Nebraska did not take away any team awards at the meet, but gymnast Eric Scryver was the individual champion on the high bar with a score of 14.900.
After seeing the Gophers in the Windy City Invitational, Iowa has competed in two meets against Oklahoma and Illinois, losing both. The Sooners hosted the Hawkeyes and won 444.300 to 430.600, while Illinois defeated Iowa at home 433.350 to 420.300.
Last week, after coming to Minnesota, Nebraska traveled to Michigan and competed against the Wolverines. Nebraska lost to No. 2 Michigan 443.650 to 416.050.
Gophers in the National Rankings
After their win on Saturday, the Gophers remained No. 6 in the national rankings but moved up one spot to No. 6 in the coaches poll as well.
In team events, the Gophers are ranked second in a three-way tie on vault (73.917), third on floor exercise (73.800), fifth on still rings (73.750), sixth on parallel bars (71.833), ninth on pommel horse (70.017), and ninth on high bar (70.400).
The Gophers moved up in the rankings on every event except for parallel bars and high bar, where they moved down one spot each.
For Gopher individual leaders, junior Ellis Mannon is ranked fifth on the pommel horse (15.067), Zach Chase is ranked eighth on vault (15.067), and senior Matt Frey is tied for sixth on parallel bars (14.983).
Iowa is ranked No. 10 in both the national rankings and the coaches poll, and Nebraska is just below them at No. 11.
After competing against their Big Ten rivals this weekend, most of the Gophers will take the week off. Two gymnasts however, will stay active and travel to Las Vegas for the annual Winter Cup. Steve Jaciuk and Ellis Mannon both qualified for the meet at the P&G National Championships over the summer, and will represent the Gophers at the meet.
Minnesota's full squad returns to action at No. 7 Penn State on Saturday, March 1, 2014, before returning home to the Sports Pavilion for the final home meet of the season on Saturday, March 8.