Gophers Return Home, Host Rival Iowa
Feb. 27, 2013
The No. 6 Minnesota men's gymnastics team welcomes border rival and No. 8 Iowa to the Sports Pavilion for a 7 p.m. meet on Saturday, March 2. The Minnesota club team will also compete in the meet.
Saturday will be Minnesota's first home meet since it scored 431.200 in beating Nebraska and UIC on Feb. 2. Coach Mike Burns said the team is looking forward to competing in front of its hometown crowd.
"I cannot explain how grateful these guys are to have a home meet," said Burns. "It has been a month since we have been at home. They are just thrilled to be home and are looking forward to competing in front of our fans."
In addition to being at home, the Gophers also have revenge on their mind as they host Iowa. The Hawkeyes got the better of Minnesota on Feb. 8 in Iowa City, posting a 422.750 - 419.450 win. That meet was the same time as the Winter Cup in Las Vegas. The Gophers and Hawkeyes were both shorthanded in the meet, as Minnesota had three gymnasts in Las Vegas and Iowa had two.
"Iowa is coming to town this week and they are on a roll right now," said Burns. "They have won their last three meets and have had some really excellent victories. They beat Illinois on the road and beat Nebraska this past weekend. They beat us three weeks ago. There is a lot of revenge talk in the gym right now. There is definitely some desire to beat the Hawkeyes."
If Minnesota wants to beat Iowa, it will have to score better than it did last time the two squads met. The Gophers posted a season-high 435.450 two weeks ago at No. 2 Oklahoma, before recording a season-low 419.200 in a win at UIC last weekend.
The Gophers will be without the services of Zack Chase against Iowa. The junior was injured at UIC and no timetable has been set for his return. Chase, who competes on the still rings and vault for the Gophers, was one of the three gymnasts who was in Las Vegas when Minnesota stumbled at Iowa in early February.
"We know 419 is not going to cut it," said Burns. "Iowa went 428 at Illinois and 427 against Nebraska. We are going to need to bring our best game and get back into the 430s if we want to beat Iowa.
"It is not a time where we have to start searching for big solutions. It is a time where we have to get a little mentally tougher. We have to work on that this week in the gym and this week against Iowa."
GymInfo National Rankings
Feb. 25, 2013
Gophers In The Top 20