April 3, 2013
Five Things You Need To Know
1. Minnesota hosts the Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships this weekend. The Gophers, who are ranked No. 7 in the nation, will welcome No. 1 Penn State, No. 3 Michigan, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Illinois, No. 8 Iowa and No. 10 Nebraska to the Sports Pavilion for the annual conference championship. Illinois is the defending Big Ten champion and NCAA champion. Minnesota, which has won 21 Big Ten titles, last won a conference crown in 1995.
2. The Big Ten Championships feature seven of the top 10 teams in th nation. All seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10 in floor exercise, parallel bars and high bar. Six teams are ranked in the top 10 in pommel horse, still rings and vault, with Iowa (pommel horse), Nebraska (still rings) and Illinois (vault) being the exceptions. Individually, the top-ranked Gymnasts on still rings (Mike Wilner of Illinois), vault (Tristan Duverglas of Penn State), parallel bars (Felix Aronovich of Penn State) and high bar (Wasef Burbar of Penn State) will be competing this week.
3. As a team, the Gophers have competed in 10 meets this year. They have faced a Big Ten opponent in seven of those meets and have competed against every Big Ten foes at least once this year. Minnesota's most common Big Ten rival this year has been Iowa, as the Gophers have faced the Hawkeyes in four meets this year. Minnesota holds a 3-1 record against Iowa this season, having beaten the Hawkeyes at the Windy City Invitational, at home and at a tri-meet at Nebraska. The Gophers lone loss to Iowa came on the road and took place during a weekend when both squads had gymnasts at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas. Minnesota has faced Nebraska twice this year and is 2-0 against the Cornhuskers. The Gophers fell on the road at Illinois this year and also finished behind the Illini at the Windy City Invitational. Minnesota dropped a home meet to Penn State and also placed behind Ohio State and Michigan at the season-opening Windy City Invitational.
4. Minnesota is led by sophomores Steve Jaciuk and Ellis Mannon. Jaciuk is ranked third in the nation in high bar and sixth on parallel bars. Jaciuk beat Penn State's duo of No. 1 Wasef Burbar and No.2 Matt Felleman on the high bar when the Nittany Lions visited Minneapolis on March 23. His best score on high bar this year is 15.350, which he recorded at Oklahoma on Feb. 16. Jaciuk has topped the 15.000 mark twice this year on high bar eclipsed the 14.500 mark six times. Jaciuk's top score on parallel bars this year was 15.450. Mannon was ranked No. 21 on pommel horse on Jan. 21, but moved his way to No. 3 after topping 15.000 five times this season, including in each of his last four meets.
5. Junior Zack Chase, who was the Big Ten champion on vault as a freshman in 2011, is doubtful for competition this weekend as he is recovering from an injury suffered Feb. 24 at UIC. Chase is the most recent Gopher to win a Big Ten title.
You can read Minnesota's complete meet notes here.
Gophers Prepare For Major Competitions
The Gophers will be represented at the World University Games and the P&G Championships at the end of August.
Meet Assistant Coach Jordan Valdez
Last week the Gophers announced the addition of Jordan Valdez to the men's gymnastics coaching staff.
Gophers Hire Valdez As Assistant Coach
The University of Minnesota has hired Jordan Valdez as the latest member of their coaching staff, head coach Mike Burns announced Friday.