By Jennie Clark
Athletic Communications Assistant
The Golden Gopher men's gymnastics team heads to Columbus, Ohio for the Big Ten Championships this weekend.
Minnesota is currently ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 6 in the nation. Clearly, there are some competitive teams within the Big Ten, but the Gophers aren't focusing on that.
"In a meet like this we're not going after anyone," head coach Mike Burns said. "It's all about staying within our comfort zone of our own team, and using our team as a source of strength. We're not trying to focus on anyone else but ourselves, which is the only thing we can really control. It doesn't matter who else is there. All that matters is us."
The Gophers have been training at their best leading up to the big competition.
"This is probably the best I've seen this team since I've been here which has been six years now," Burns said. "I'm very excited and anticipating a successful competition this weekend. I think we're going to go out and surprise some people this weekend. At least that's the plan."
The Gophers went through a rough patch early on this season, but are now are feeling the best they've felt all year.
"We've had a lot of improvement this year, especially over the past two weeks." Burns said. "I think a lot of it has to do with our senior leadership, to be honest. It's their last Big Ten Championship and they want to go out with a bang. They are pumped and ready to go."
Senior Adam Reichow said this could be the best he's ever felt coming into a meet, let alone the Big Ten Championships.
"I'm feeling really good coming into this meet," Reichow said. "I don't think I've ever been so ready for a meet in my entire life."
Reichow is coming off a great finish in his last meet scoring a 16.000 on the vault, one of his best marks of the year. He also scored a 15.300 on the floor. Although he feels these that these are strong numbers, he is still striving to do better at Big Tens.
"My goals for this meet is to score a 16.000 on vault and a 15.500 or higher on floor." Reichow said.
Coach Burns feels this could be the finest team he's coached in the six years he has been with the Gophers. He has confidence that this could be the Gophers' year to win a Big Ten Championship.
"We want to go out and hit as many routines as we can and win a Big Ten Title," Burns said. "We haven't done it since 1995 and we have our work cut out for us. But I think these guys are up for the challenge."
The Gophers begin competition in Columbus on Friday. The meet continues Saturday. Live coverage on the Big Ten Network begins at 6 p.m. CT Friday and Saturday nights.
Pictured above: The Gophers finished preparations for the Big Ten Champion-
ships Thursday night in Columbus. "The guys looked really good, adjusting to
the equipment, absorbing the environment of the venue and getting ready for
a great competition on Friday night," head coach Mike Burns said.