March 1, 2013
GAINESVILLE, FLA. - No. 14 Minnesota scored a season-high 197.175, its second-highest team total in school history, at No. 2 Florida on Friday night, but the Gators established a new school record with a team total of 198.425 to improve to 8-1 this season.
Minnesota (12-3) recorded season-high team scores on three events, with a 49.425 on vault, 49.325 on balance beam, and a 49.450 on floor exercise. The Gophers' final total of 197.175 ranks only behind the 197.700 points Minnesota scored in a dual meet at Arizona State on March 12, 2004.
Freshman Lindsay Mable tied for the fourth-highest all-around total in program history with a 39.525 to finish fourth. Mable's night was highlighted by a second-place tie on vault with a career-best 9.925, and a sixth-place tie on floor exercise (9.900).
The Gophers opened with a 48.975 on uneven bars, with Mable (9.850), sophomore Cierra Tomson (9.825) and freshman Madie Hanley (9.800) each scoring 9.800 or better. But the Gators established an early lead by scoring 49.450 on vault, led by Kytra Hunter's 9.975.
Minnesota responded with its 49.425 on vault in the second rotation, led by Mable and sophomore Jenny Covers, who each scored 9.925. Sophomore Kylie Schermann added a 9.875 for the Gophers. But, once again, Florida was just a touch better on this night, as the Gators had three scores of 9.950 or better to tally 49.675 on bars.
The Golden Gophers kept the pressure on by equaling its season-best score on floor with a 49.450. Schermann tied her career-best with a 9.925, while Mable and senior Shannon Golich each had a 9.900 and Tomson tallied a 9.875.
Freshman Hanna Nordquist scored a personal-best on beam with a 9.925 to tie Golich for third, while Kylie Schermann added a 9.900 to help the Gophers score a season-best 49.325. The 9.925 for Golich also was a career-best.
However, Florida had another 9.975 and scored a 49.600 on beam, then finished with a 49.700 on floor with five scores of 9.900 or better. The Gators needed many personal-bests and team-record totals to record the win, and Minnesota's performance was noticed by UF head coach Rhonda Faehn.
Faehn rarely gets to watch much of the competition's routines, but tonight she was able to catch several of the Gophers' performances and was impressed with what she saw.
"The quality of gymnastics and the level of execution of the Minnesota routines were impressive. They are definitely a team in strong contention for a spot in the NCAA Championships' 12-team field," Faehn said. "They showed great quality gymnastics."
Minnesota returns home for its final two regular season meets of the season, beginning with next Saturday's quad meet with defending Big Ten champion and No. 10 Nebraska, No. 25 Arkansas and Centenary. That meet will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
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