Jan. 11, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota women's gymnastics team topped visitors Air Force and Lindenwood in its first meet of the season Saturday night at the Sports Pavilion by posting a final team score of 194.425. The Golden Gophers used a strong performance on the floor to take first place in the tri-meet that saw the Falcons register a 190.625 and the Lady Lions score a 185.625.
Minnesota started strong with a 48.9 team vault score. All six Gophers to compete--Rachel Haines, Cierra Tomson, Kayla Slechta, Kylie Schermann, Lindsay Mable, and Jenny Covers--finished with top-six scores. Mable paced the team with a 9.85 score and Slechta placed second with a 9.8 and freshman Haines came in third with a 9.775 in her first collegiate vault effort.
Despite the fact that Minnesota gymnasts made up the top three finishers, the Falcons won the uneven bars with a team score of 48.2, edging the Gophers, who put up an even 48. Mable and freshman Bailie Holst shared first with scores of 9.85 and Covers finished third by tying a career-high score with 9.825.
In the balance beam competition, the Gophers got back on track by taking the event with a team score of 48.1. Sophomore Hanna Nordquist led the way with a 9.775 and was followed in the top three by teammates Haines (9.7) and captain Dusti Russell (9.65).
The strongest event of the night for the Gophers was the floor exercise. For the second time in the meet, Gophers made up the entire top six in an event. Mable wowed the crowd with a 9.975 performance, tying a career-best. Cierra Tomson placed second with the best score of her career, a 9.9. Slechta's 9.875 earned her third.
Mable was the meet's most valuable performer and was the all-around champion with a 39.175. Tomson had the second-best all-around score with a 38.125.
The Gophers get right back to action Monday night on the West Coast when they clash with 20th-ranked Washington. Their next home meet is Jan. 25 against Illinois--the team's Big Ten conference opener.
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