Feb. 26, 2012
The University of Minnesota closed out the tough two-meet weekend with a 195.150 at Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The Gophers’ score was limited by a few falters in the opening rotation on uneven bars, but the squad sprung back in the final rotations to post their second-highest road score of the season. Despite the strong effort, Iowa State came away with the victory by scoring a season-best 195.975.
“We had another great performance today, minus our bars set,” said head coach Meg Stephenson. “There were a few misses on bars in the first rotation, but the girls put that behind them and came back strong on each of the other events. All around, we performed really well today, especially after only one day of rest.”
The Gophers, who scored a season-best score of 196.450 at Iowa on Friday, had three gymnasts grab first place honors on the day. Sophomore Kayla Slechta won vault outright while junior Shannon Golich and sophomore Dusti Russell shared titles with ISU competitors on beam and floor.
Minnesota began the meet with a rough first rotation as they scored a 48.300 on bars. Russell was the top scorer for the Maroon and Gold with a 9.800, which was good enough to tie for third.
“We started bad on bars by having a few unfortunate mistakes,” Stephenson said. “Janell [Campbell] had an early miss on her routine, which was tough to recover from. Lucy [Ennis] did a phenomenal job on bars, but she missed her dismount, which hurt her score.”
Despite the subpar score on bars, the Gophers put the event behind them and rebounded on vault to score a 49.000. Slechta claimed the crown with a meet-best score of 9.850. Golich and freshman Jenny Covers came in a four-way tie for second place with a 9.825, which was a career-best for Covers.
Minnesota transitioned to floor for the third rotation, which is the team’s strongest of the season, with hopes of making up ground on the Cyclones, who had a 98.025-97.300 advantage.
Russell again to charge as she helped the Gophers score a 49.000 by posting a 9.875, which tied for first at the meet. Slechta and freshman Cierra Tomson each scored a 9.800 on the event, respectively.
“We were a little sloppy with our landings on floor, but we were still able to post a good score,” mentioned Stephenson.
The Maroon and Gold closed out the meet with a solid score on beam, 48.850. Golich tied for the top score on the apparatus with a 9.825. Among the other four scores, all gymnasts tallied a 9.750 or higher.
Russell finished the day with an all around score of 39.200, which was good enough for second. Tomson put together another solid day as she came in fourth, respectively, with a 39.000.
Minnesota returns to action next weekend as they head to Fayetteville, Ark. The Gophers will take on the Top 10-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks at 7 p.m. CST.