March 30, 2006
The Golden Gophers will travel to Norman, Okla., for the 2006 NCAA Championship. The national qualifier, which consists of two pre-qualifying sessions, will be conducted April 6 at the Lloyd Noble Center on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Minnesota will compete in the first round on Thursday at 1 p.m. Other teams in the same session include No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Iowa, and No. 11 William & Mary.
Three teams and the top three all-around competitors not on one of the qualifying teams, plus the top three individuals on each event not already qualified on a team or as an all-around competitor, will advance from each pre-qualifying session to the finals session.
Final competitions will take place April 7-8, also at the University of Oklahoma.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Lloyd Noble Center, or in advance through the University of Oklahoma athletics website at www.soonersports.com
Gophers in the Team Rankings
The Gophers are ranked 10th in the March 28 edition of the GymInfo National Rankings. In the event-by event rankings, Minnesota is listed at No. 5 on the parallel bars, No. 9 on the vault, No. 10 on the horse, rings, and high bar, and No. 11 on the floor.
Individuals in the National Rankings
Minnesota has two gymnasts listed among the top 20 in individual rankings this week. Jake Lee is listed in three events, with his highest rankings coming in the parallel bars. Le is ranked second in the country on the parallel bars, is listed at No. 4 in the all around, and is No. 12 on the vault.
Sergei Dmitriev is also ranked on the parallel bars this week, coming in at No. 14.
Lee Earnes All-Big Ten Acclaim
Jake Lee was a first-time All-Big Ten honoree at the 2006 Big Ten Championships. Lee was Minnesota’s top gymnast during the 2006 season, leading the team in average scoring and high score in five of six events, plus the all around. He was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Feb. 15 after his performance at Michigan.
Meyer Wins Sportsmanship Award
A Sportsmanship Award winner from each team was announced at the Big Ten Championship, with Justin Meyer winning the award for Minnesota. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Academic All-Big Ten Honors
Three Gopher Gymnasts earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, announced March 29. Honorees from the Gopher men’s gymnastics program are Joe Moore, Kyle True, and Mark Witmer. Moore is a senior, majoring in landscape architecture. True is majoring in mechanical engineering, and is in his junior year. Witmer, a sophomore, is majoring in history and Russian.
Overall, Minnesota had 59 Academic All-Big Ten honorees for winter sports. Award winners must be in at least their second year at their academic institution, and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Minnesota’s History in the NCAA Meet
The Gophers have competed in the NCAA Championship in every year since 1975. While the Gophers have yet to win a team title, Minnesota gymnasts have won 15 individual national titles. As a team, the Gophers have earned top-five national finishes 16 times. Minnesota has been the national runner-up three times, in 1941, 1949, and 1990.
Last Year at the NCAA Championships
The University of Minnesota men’s gymnastics team finished fifth in their session at the NCAA Championships, but did not qualify for the team finals despite posting a season- high score of 217.4.
Individually, Guillermo Alvarez earned three All-America citations by finishing second overall in the event finals on vault and pommel horse and eighth on floor. Alvarez posted a score of 9.762 on pommel horse and a 9.400 on vault to take second in both events. He also competed on floor exercise where he placed in a tie for eighth with a mark of 9.025. Alvarez earned an All-America citation at the NCAA Championships by placing fourth in the all-around.
Leading the Way
Jake Lee owns Minnesota’s best score of the season in the all around and five of six individual events. He also leads the team in average score in five events: horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, and the high bar.
New to the All Around
Senior Justin Meyer competed in the all around against Wisconsin on March 4, marking the first all around performance in his Gopher career. Meyer earned scores of 8.500 on the floor, 7.850 on the horse, 8.800 on the rings, 8.400 on the vault, 8.650 on the parallel bars, and 8.500 on the high bar for a total score of 50.750.
Against Iowa, Meyer set a personal-best with a score of 51.400 in the all around.
At the Big Ten Championship, Meyer earned a 51.050 in the all around, and earned his personal best vault score, with an 8.900.
Mays Steps Up at Big Tens
Mitchell Mays set a career-best mark on the vault at the Big Ten meet, earning a 9.050.Mays’ score was good for 18th place in the event. Along with Jake Lee’s score of 9.400 on vault, the Gophers earned their highest vault score of the season with a 36.200.
Campbell Tops on Floor
Freshman Eddie Campbell has the team’s highest average score in the floor exercise, with an average of 8.738. Campbell is the only freshman to lead the team in average scoring in an event. At the Big Ten Championship, Campbell earned a 9.100 on the floor to mark the best score of his career and the best score by a Gopher gymnast on floor this season.
Quast Makes Gopher Debut
Alex Quast, a freshman from Vadnais Heights, Minn., competed for the first time in his Golden Gopher gymnastics career against Wisconsin on March 4. Quast finished fifth on the still rings with a score of 7.850. He has been in the line up on rings in each of the last three competitions.
High Bar Success
The Gophers had their best high bar score of the season against Wisconsin on March 4, earning a 35.250. Four Minnesota gymnasts earned career-best scores, and one had a season-high score. Jake Lee set a career-best mark with a 9.400 to win the event title. Sergei Dmitriev had his best score of the season on the high bar, with a 9.050 to place second. Steve Vuong also had a personal-best score in the event with an 8.900 to come in third on the high bar. Justin Meyer had his personal-best score in the meet against the Badgers, with an 8.550 to place fourth. Frosh Eddie Campbell had the best score of his Gopher career with an 8.400 to place fifth.