The No. 6 Gopher men’s gymnastics team will play host to the 2007 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships at the Sports Pavilion. Team competition will take place on Friday evening, beginning at 7 p.m. Individual event finals will be on Saturday night, and will also begin at 7 p.m. Doors will open to the public 90 minutes prior to the first event each night. Live scoring for the meet will be available on the Minnesota athletics website at www.gophersports.com.
TICKETS FOR THE BIG TEN MEET
Tickets for the 2007 Big Ten Championship can be purchased online at www.gophersports.com or by calling the Gopher athletics ticket office at 612-624-8080 or 1-800-U-GOPHER. Ticket prices are as follows:
Two-Day Public - $15
Two Day Senior/Student - $10
Two-Day Groups of 15 or more - $5/each
Single-Day Public - $10
Single-Day Senior/Student - $7
Single-Day Groups of 15 or more - $3/each
After being ranked No. 7 in the nation for three straight weeks, the Gophers moved up to No. 6 in this week’s edition of the GymInfo National Rankings. The Gophers are also listed among the top 10 in every event, with their highest rankings coming in the floor exercise and vault, where the team is ranked fourth.
TOUGH RACE FOR THE BIG TEN TITLE
All six men’s gymnastics teams from the Big Ten are ranked among the nation’s top nine this week. Ohio State is the top ranked team in the Big Ten and the nation this week, and is followed by No. 2 Michigan. Penn State comes in at No. 5 this week, and the Gophers are listed at No. 6. Illinois is ranked No. 7, and Iowa is No. 9.
MINNESOTA'S HISTORY AT THE BIG TEN MEET
The Gophers have won 20 Big Ten Team titles, with their last championship coming in 1995. The team has finished second at the Big Ten Championship 16 times.
Gopher gymnasts have won individual titles 118 times, with the most individual titles coming in the all around (29). Minnesota athletes have also won23 titles on the parallel bars, 18 on the high bar, 12 on the pommel horse, 10 on the rings, eight on the vault, seven in tumbling (no longer an event), six in the floor exercise, and five in Indian clubs (no longer an event).
WHEN BIG TENS ARE IN MINNEAPOLIS
The University of Minnesota has hosted the Big Ten Championships 12 times since 1903. The Gophers have won five conference titles when the Big Ten meet is held in Minneapolis, with the most recent coming in 1977. Minnesota also won Big Ten titles when hosting the conference meet in 1938, 1925, 1910, and 1903.
The last time the Gophers hosted the Big Ten Championship was in 2002, when Minnesota finished fourth. Ohio State was the Big Ten winner that year.
THE GOPHERS BY EVENT
Floor Exercise - Cole Storer owns three of the team’s top five scores of the season on floor, with his highest mark of 9.550 coming in the meet against Wisconsin (3/3). Storer has been the leading scorer for the Gophers on floor four times this season, and is the top-ranked Gopher in the event, and is listed at No. 8 this week. Adam Reichow (No. 18), and Eddie Campbell (No. 20) are also listed in the national rankings on floor.
Pommel Horse - Kit Beikmann has been the team’s top scorer on the horse in eight of nine meets this season. Beikmann’s top score of the season was a 9.050 against Wisconsin (3/3). He owns the Gophers’ top three horse scores this year, and is the only Minnesota gymnast ranked in the event, coming in tied for No. 11 this week.
Still Rings - Mitchell Mays is the top-ranked Gopher on the rings, and is listed at No. 20 in the national rankings this week. Mays has been the Gophers’ top rings performer at five competitions this year, with his best score of 9.500 coming at the meet against Wisconsin (3/3). Mays has earned four of the team’s top five rings scores this season.
Vault - Mitchell Mays owns the team’s top vault score of the season, a 9.300 scored in the Wisconsin meet (3/3). Mays is the top-ranked Gopher gymnast on vault, and is listed at No. 4 this week. Andre Berry is also nationally-ranked on the vault, and is tied for No. 12 in the current edition of the rankings. Cole Storer has led the team in scoring on vault more often than any other Gopher, and has been the team’s top performer at four meets.
Parallel Bars - Jake Lee is the top-ranked Minnesota gymnast on the parallel bars, coming in tied for No. 8 this week. Lee owns three of the team’s top five scores in the event, including two marks of 9.400, coming in the meets against Michigan (2/17) and Nebraska (3/10). Sergei Dmitriev is also nationally-ranked on the p-bars, and is tied for No. 12 this week. Dmitriev has had the highest Gopher score on parallel bars at three meets this season. Dmitriev’s highest score this year is a 9.300, which he accomplished at the Windy City Invite (1/13) and at the Pacific Coast Classic (2/24).
High Bar - Two Minnesota gymnasts are nationally-ranked on the high bar, Aaron Fortunato (No. 8) and Jake Lee (tie-No. 18). Lee owns the team’s top high bar score of the season with a 9.500, earned at the final regular-season meet at Illinois-Chicago (3/24). Fortunato has two of the team’s top five scores in the event this year, with his highest score of 9.300 coming at Illinois-Chicago last weekend. Sergei Dmitriev has been the team’s top scorer on high bar at three meets, earning his season-high score of 9.250 in the meet against Illinois (1/20).
All Around - Minnesota has had two all around competitors this year, Jake Lee and Andre Berry, and both are ranked in the nation’s top 10 this week. Lee is ranked No. 3, while Berry comes in at No. 10 in the current rankings. Lee has competed in the all around at five meets this year, tallying his best score of 53.800 at Nebraska (3/10). Lee owns four of the team’s top five all around scores this year. Berry has been an all around performer in five meets, and earned his top score of 52.550 against Wisconsin (3/3).
LAST YEAR AT THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Gophers placed sixth at the 2006 Big Ten Championships, held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the University of Iowa. Minnesota compiled a team score of 205.400. Ohio State won the meet with a score of 215.625.
On the floor exercise, Eddie Campbell was the top scorer for the Gophers, placing 10th with a career-best score of 9.100. As a team, the Gophers earned a 33.95 on the floor.
On the pommel horse, Justin Meyer was the top performer for the Maroon and Gold. Meyer scored an 8.500 to tie for ninth place. The Gophers struggled on the horse, earning a season-low 31.100.
Jake Lee was Minnesota’s top scorer on the rings, earning a 9.000 to tie for eighth place. Mitchell Mays earned a score of 8.800 to tie his personal best rings score. Minnesota compiled a team score of 34.65 on the rings.
Lee was also the top Gopher finisher in the vault competition, scoring a 9.400 to place fifth. The score was a season-best for Lee, and tied his career-high score. Mitchell Mays had a personal-best score of 9.050 on the vault, placing 18th. As a team, the Gophers earned their best vault score of the season with a 36.200.
Jake Lee was Minnesota’s leader on the parallel bars, earning the top individual score in team competition. Lee’s mark of 9.550 is the best of his Gopher career. The team tallied a mark of 35.05 on the parallel bars.
Sergei Dmitriev and Jake Lee tied for Minnesota’s best score on the high bar, each earning a mark of 8.950 to tie for 11th place. Minnesota compiled a 34.450 as a team in the event.
Minnesota had two gymnasts compete in the all around, Jake Lee and Justin Meyer. Lee finished fifth with a total of 52.800, while Meyer came in ninth with a tally of 51.050.
The top eight finishers in each event qualified for the event finals. Jake Lee and Sergei Dmitreiv qualified to compete in the event finals for the Gophers.
Junior Jake Lee had his highest individual finish on the parallel bars, where he finished second with a score of 9.388. He also competed on the rings and the vault, where he placed eighth and ninth, respectively.
Sophomore Sergei Dmitriev competed on the parallel bars, and came in eighth place with a mark of 6.550.
LEE FOR NISSEN-EMERY
Senior Jake Lee has been named one of eight finalists for the Nissen-Emery Award, which is given to the nation’s outstanding senior gymnast and is considered the most coveted award in collegiate gymnastics.
Lee joins Jack Bouchard (Iowa), Brain Carr (Oklahoma), Matt Cohen (Penn State), Peter Derman (Stanford), Willie Ito (Ohio State), Justin Laury (Michigan) and Tim Morrison (Illinois-Chicago) as finalists for the award.
"The coveted Nissen-Emery Award is the highest honor that is bestowed on a collegiate gymnast," said Gopher head men's gymnastics coach Mike Burns. "Only the top gymnasts in the country are considered as candidates for this award and our own Jake Lee is one of eight finalists this year. The Nissen-Emery Award has been in existence since 1966 when it was awarded to Jim Curzi of Michigan State University and the list of winners since then is like a who’s who of men’s gymnastics. I’m thrilled that Jake has been selected as one of the finalists for such an awesome award."
LEE NAMED BIG TEN GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
Jake Lee was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for his performance on March 10 against Nebraska. It marks the second time in his career Lee has earned Gymnast of the Week honors. He was also honored with that award on March 15, 2006.
Lee had his best meet of the season against Nebraska, placing in the top three on four events, while claiming the all-around title to lead the Golden Gophers to a win over the Huskers. Lee won the all-around with his best score of the season (53.800), while placing first on the parallel bars (9.400). He also recorded second-place finishes on the still rings (9.050) and high bar (9.100). It marked the first time this season that Lee has scored at least a 9.000 in four events in the same meet.
MEN'S GYMNASTS DEFEAT ILLINOIS-CHICAGO, 213.300-205.400
The seventh-ranked University of Minnesota men’s gymnasts defeated 13th-ranked Illinois-Chicago in Chicago 213.300-205.400. For the Gophers it was their third-highest score of the season.
The Gophers were led by Nissen-Emery finalist Jake Lee. Lee earned the all-around championship with a score of 53.45. Lee also won the high bar with a season-high score of 9.50 and the parallel bars with a score of 9.15. Lee tied Gopher Kit Beikmann for first on the pommel horse with a mark of 8.65 and also finished among the top five on rings by placing third with a score of 9.20.
Andre Berry finished third in the all-around with a mark of 51.45 and captured the vault title with a 9.20. Cole Storer finished second on vault with a mark of 8.80.
“We had a good meet with only a few slips on the pommel horse and the high bar,” said head men’s gymnastics coach Mike Burns. “We hit on 80% of our routines, which is among our best percentages of the season. Jake had a solid performance and it is good for him to capture another all-around championship heading into the Big Ten Championships.
“We have a couple of things that we have to clean up for the Big Tens, but I think that overall we are in good shape. I am excited about hosting the Big Ten Championships starting next Friday as five of the top 10 teams in the nation will be competing. We have the potential to hit in the 215-216 range and the Big Ten meet will be a knock-down, drag-out competition that we are looking forward to.”
MEN'S GYMNASTS POST SCORE OF 213.550 IN WIN OVER NEBRASKA
The seventh-ranked University of Minnesota men’s gymnasts defeated 10th-ranked Nebraska in Lincoln today 213.550-205.450. For the Gophers, it was their second-highest score of the season. The Gophers dominated the Huskers from the start, registering a higher score than Nebraska on floor, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar.
Individually, the Gophers were led by several gymnasts who performed at their highest level all season. Senior Jake Lee won the all-around with both his and the team’s top score all season in that event with a 53.800. Lee also captured the parallel bars title with a mark of 9.400 and was among the top three individually on rings (second, 9.05), vault (third, 8.75) and high bar (second, 9.10). Mitchell Mays continued to impress by winning the rings with a 9.300 and taking the vault title with a 9.200. Andre Berry tied teammate Adam Reichow for the top score on floor exercise with a 9.400.
Head coach Mike Burns is happy with the way his team is performing as the Big Ten Championships get closer. “I was excited with the way we performed today, but more excited about the way guys continue to step up when something goes wrong or someone doesn’t perform as well as we hoped on a given event,” said Burns. “Someone is always there to pick up the next guy and that is the mark of a team ready to take a step to the next level.
“Today we started out a little rough on horse, but bounced back quickly and had some quality performances by our guys. We posted our second highest score of the season despite the fact that we were without the services of one of our regulars, Cole Storer, and had guys like Kyle True ready to go and step in for Cole and score well for us. That gives the rest of the guys a lot of confidence.”
GOPHERS POST SEASON HIGH TOTAL IN WIN OVER WISCONSIN CLUB
The Gophers defeated the Wisconsin club team 216.500-149.200 at the team’s annual alumni meet at the Sports Pavilion. The Gopher Alumni scored a 216.550. The Gophers dominated individually. Andre Berry captured the all-around title with a 52.550. Five different Gophers won all six of the individual events as Mitchell Mays won the rings (9.500) and tied Cole Storer for the title on vault with a 9.300. Storer would also win gold on floor exercise with a score 9.550. Kit Beikmann won the pommel horse with a score of 9.050 and Aaron Fortunato won the parallel bars with a score of 9.000. Steve Vuong helped the Gophers earn a clean sweep of the individual awards by winning the high bars with a mark of 9.350. “One of the other things we accomplished tonight was that we were able to perform in the rotation that we will perform for the Big Ten Championships,” said head coach Mike Burns. “That helped us to get a feel for what it will be like and that can’t be understated.”
MINNESOTA SUFFERS NARROW LOSS TO MICHIGAN
The Gophers (3-1) proved that they can compete with the best of the best tonight at the Sports Pavilion, narrowly losing to Michigan, the top-ranked team in the nation, by a score of 209.800-209.300. The Gophers led for most of the night before Michigan was able to overcome a slight deficit in the sixth and final rotation to down the Gophers by five-tenths of a point. Minnesota had a higher team score than the Wolverines on pommel horse, vault and parallel bars, while Michigan had higher marks on floor exercise, rings and high bar. Individually, Jake Lee captured the all-around title with a score of 51.550 and also won the parallel bars with a score of 9.40. Kit Beikmann gave the Gophers their other individual champion, claiming the pommel horse crown with a score of 9.00. Cole Storer posted the Gophers highest score on floor with a third-place finish and score of 9.45 and had the highest mark of any Minnesota gymnast on high bar with an 8.90. Adam Reichow and Andre Berry were tied for second on vault with scores of 8.70 to top all Gopher gymnasts.
Minnesota head coach Mike Burns was happy with the way his team competed against the Wolverines and was excited about what the home crowd brought to the table. “We were pretty darn close to Michigan tonight and it is frustrating to come within half a point of winning,” said Burns. “We could taste victory going into the final rotation and unfortunately, we just didn’t finish on high bar. We were hanging right there with the No. 1 team in the country.”