Jan. 26, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- The 12th-ranked University of Minnesota women's gymnastics team recorded a monumental victory for the program on Saturday evening, scoring a team total of 196.800 to defeat top-ranked Michigan (196.775), No. 20 Central Michigan (194.650), and Iowa State (193.950) on Saturday evening at the Sports Pavilion.
The win against Michigan was Minnesota's first against a No. 1-ranked team, and it was the second straight against the Wolverines. Minnesota also finished one spot ahead of Michigan with a third-place finish at last year's Big Ten Championships.
Minnesota's team total of 196.800 points was the fourth-highest in team history, and it marked the most points scored by the Gophers since posting a school-record total of 197.700 at Arizona State on March 12, 2004.
The Gophers (7-0, 2-0 Big Ten) were led by sophomore Lindsay Mable, who captured the all-around title with a score of 39.450 and was selected as the meet's Most Vital Performer. Mable also won the all-around title at Penn State last weekend to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.
Junior Kayla Slechta, who entered the meet tied for first nationally with an average score of 9.938 on vault this season, recorded her second 9.950 on the event to tie for first with Michigan's Sachi Sugiyama. Sophomore Jenny Covers also recorded a career-high on vault with a 9.900 to finish third. As a team, the Gophers got off to a great start with a team total of 49.325 on vault.
Sophomore Cierra Tomson finished second on bars with a 9.825, and freshman Madie Hanley added a 9.800. It was the Gophers' lone event score under 49.000, as they scored a 48.875 and fell into a tie with Michigan after the second rotation.
Minnesota moved to balance beam, where five of the six competitors recorded scores of 9.800 or better. Mable led the way with a career-best 9.900, while freshman Hanna Nordquist tied her career-best of 9.850 and senior Shannon Golich, junior Justine Cherwink, and sophomore Kylie Schermann each had 9.800's.
But Michigan scored a 49.250 on floor to pull ahead of the Gophers by one-tenth of a point after the third rotation, and the Wolverines then added a score of 49.325 on vault to finish with their team total of 196.775 while Minnesota was still competing on floor.
Covers opened with a 9.800, and the scores only got better for Minnesota on its final event. Tomson followed with a 9.875, then Mable brought the crowd to its feet with a winning score of 9.925, and Slechta and Schermann each scored 9.875's. That left senior Janell Campbell as the final competitor of the night. Campbell needed a 9.875 to tie Michigan and a 9.900 to win, and she delivered on the latter of the scores to bring the crowd of 1,859 at the Sports Pavilion to a frenzy.
Minnesota's total of 49.325 on vault is the third-best team total in school history, and is the most points scored on vault since the Gophers scored 49.450 at Arizona on March 14, 2002. In addition, Minnesota's floor total of 49.450 is tied for fifth in school history, and is the most points scored on floor since the Gophers had 49.450 versus Utah on Feb. 1, 2003.
Minnesota returns to the road next weekend for a Big Ten dual meet at Michigan State on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. CT. The Gophers' next home meet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, against Illinois at 4:00 p.m. CT in the Sports Pavilion.
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