The final countdown for the NCAA Championships is upon us and the best teams from around the country will start arriving today here in the Twin Cities. The Sports Pavilion has been set up and the final adjustments to the equipment are taking place Monday.
The teams will start preparing as early as Monday. Wednesday is the official scheduled training day, with teams competing in Session I training from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and teams competing in Session II training from 2 - 5 p.m. These training sessions will be open to the public, so students in the area can stop in to watch the best gymnasts in the country doing their final prep for the first day of competition on Thursday.
The Gophers will be competing on Thursday evening at 7 pm with five other top teams in the country. We will be facing No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Illinois, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 10 Illinois-Chicago and No. 11 Iowa. Minnesota is ranked No. 7 and will be competing to qualify to the Team Finals on Friday. The top 3 teams from our qualifying session on Thursday will advance to Friday’s Team Finals.
Our guys are really excited about the prospects of competing in our own gym in front of what we expect to be a pretty partisan hometown crowd. Competing at home is always a huge advantage at a meet like the NCAA Championships. We get to sleep in our own beds and we get to keep our daily schedule as normal as possible. I think that’s a great way to compete for a national title.
I really hope we can get lots of students to come out and watch us take on these five top teams from around the country. I hope they can cheer us on and watch us come out as one of the top three teams in our session, earning a spot in the Team Finals on Friday. This has been one of our major team goals all year, so our team is ready to go and eager to get in front of the judges and our fans to achieve our goals and advance to Day Two.