MINNEAPOLIS - No. 14 Minnesota kept its hopes for a share of the inaugural Big Ten regular season title alive, as it defeated No. 12 Nebraska, No. 24 Arkansas and Centenary in a quad meet at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday evening.
Freshman Lindsay Mable tied Minnesota's school record on floor exercise with a 9.975, helping the Golden Gophers (15-3, 5-1 Big Ten) score a 49.300 on floor, which gave it a winning team total of 196.600. Arkansas (6-6-1) took second with a score of 196.350, while Nebraska (7-2, 5-2 Big Ten) was third with 196.150, and Centenary (1-10) finished fourth with 190.425.
The Huskers and Gophers had each entered the meet with a chance to tie No. 3 Michigan (6-1 Big Ten) for a share of the Big Ten regular season title, but Minnesota is the lone team to still have a chance. If the Gophers are able to defeat Ohio State at the Sports Pavilion next Saturday evening, they'll tie the Wolverines for the title.
Minnesota led from start to finish on Saturday, opening with a 49.250 on vault, with Mable tying for second with a 9.900. Sophomore Kylie Schermann added a 9.875, while sophomore Cierra Tomson had a 9.850 and sophomore Jenny Covers scored a 9.825.
Senior Janell Campbell led the Gophers on uneven bars with a 9.850 to tie for fifth, as Minnesota scored a 48.950. Tomson added a 9.825, while junior Kayla Slechta had a 9.800.
Freshman Hanna Nordquist turned in a gritty performance to tie for first on balance beam. Nordquist scored a 9.900 on her Community Night after being sick the past few days. Schermann tied for third with a 9.850, while senior Shannon Golich tied for sixth with a 9.825.
The Gophers wrapped things up with a clutch performance on floor. Arkansas and Nebraska had already finished when Mable took the floor, and she vaulted the Gophers into the lead with her school-record performance. Mable's 9.975 ties MaryAnne Kelley's score versus North Carolina on March 9, 2002, and Carolyn Yernberg's score versus Arkansas on January 8, 2005.
In all, Minnesota had five scores of 9.800 or better on floor, as Campbell received a 9.875 for her routine to tie for third, while Schermann tied for fifth with a 9.850. Covers and Tomson each opened with 9.800's to get the Gophers started.
Minnesota has now scored 196.000 or better in five of 10 meets this season. The Gophers close the regular season with next Saturday's Senior Night meet against Ohio State. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. CT, and Campbell and Golich will be honored as the team's two senior gymnasts.