April 7, 2012
In front of a crowd of 6,558 people, the University of Minnesota women’s gymnastics team pulled down third place by scoring a 194.800 at the NCAA Regional Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday night. Sophomores Dusti Russell and Kayla Slechta nabbed the spotlight as each qualified for the NCAA National Championships in the all around competition.
Russell earned the first all around position with an overall score of 39.125 while Slechta grabbed the second position with a 39.025. Slechta will make her second-straight appearance at the National meet while Russell will experience the national stage for the first time. The championship meet will be held in Duluth, Ga. on April 20-22.
Minnesota had a rough start to the meet as they began with their weakest events this season: uneven bars and balance beam. The team ended the first two rotations with a 96.575.
On bars, the Golden Gophers posted one of their lowest scores of the year with having to count one of their two falls on the apparatus. Junior Janell Campbell posted the top score for the Gophers as she tallied a 9.8000, which was good enough to tie for eighth, respectively. The team accumulated a score of 47.975.
In the next rotation, Russell and freshman Kylie Schermann notched the team’s top scores as they finished in a tie for fifth with a 9.800. The Gophers ended up scoring a 48.600 on the apparatus.
With their worst events behind them, the Maroon and Gold looked to turn things around on floor exercise and vault.
The Gophers would come out on fire on floor as five of the six scored a 9.800 or higher to notch a 49.175 on the event. Campbell again turned in a great performance as she scored a 9.875 on the event to finish in a tie for third. Shermann was the Gophers’ next highest scorer with a 9.850, which tied her for fifth.
Minnesota capped off the meet with another impressive performance, but this time it came in vault. Slechta executed a great vault as she posted a 9.900 to finish in a tie for second. Russell, Schermann and Cierra Tomson followed suit as they each scored a 9.800 to finish in a tie for 12th, respectively. The Gophers overall score on the event was a 49.050.
Russell and Slechta punched their ticket for NCAA Nationals by grabbing 5th and 7th in the all around. They will make the trip to Duluth, Ga. in two weeks for the National competition.
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