The Minnesota men’s gymnastics team had a rough night on the pommel horse and the parallel bars Saturday at the Sports Pavilion. Combined with a solid effort from visiting Illinois, the end result was a 353.600-347.700 loss to the Fighting Illini for the Golden Gophers on Senior Night.
Minnesota opened the meet strong with its second-best night of the season on the floor exercise. The Gophers’ Adam Reichow won the event with a 15.450, leading the Gophers to a 59.850 team score. But on the second rotation of the night, Minnesota had a number of falls on the pommel horse. The Gophers tallied a score of 54.800, nearly four points lower than their total from last week’s competition.
Meanwhile, Illinois put up a total of 118.100 in its first two rotations. Minnesota’s score of 114.650 after floor exercise and pommel horse left the Gophers facing an uphill climb for the remainder of the night.
Minnesota rebounded a bit in the middle of the meet. The Gophers put up their second best score of the season on the still rings, tallying a 57.200. Senior Eddie Campbell led the way for Minnesota on the rings with a second-place score of 14.650. The Gophers’ vault score of 63.050 matched their season-best mark. Reichow (15.900) and DJ Repp (15.800) took the top two spots on the vault.
But Illinois had solid performances on the rings and vault as well. The Illini maintained their advantage after the fourth rotation, holding nearly a four-point lead, 238.700-234.900.
Minnesota struggled on the parallel bars, which can often be a strong event for the squad. The 55.450 score posted by the Gophers matched a season-low. Freshman Russell Dabritz was a bright spot on the apparatus, winning the event for the night with a 14.700 score. Minnesota rebounded with its second-best score of the season on the high bar, a 57.350 performance. Colin McGuire took the top individual score of the night on the bar with a 14.650.
Illinois turned in solid scores of 57.100 and 57.800 on the parallel bars and high bar in the final two rotations. That allowed the Illini to extend their advantage a bit by the end of the evening.
Minnesota will be off this week in preparation for the Big Ten Championships, which are slated for April 3-4 in Ann Arbor, Mich.