No. 22 Gophers Open 2012 Season Hosting No. 18 Ohio State

Go Gophers! Meg Stephenson enters her 20th season with the Golden Gophers on Saturday.
Go Gophers!
Meg Stephenson enters her 20th season with the Golden Gophers on Saturday.
Go Gophers!

Jan. 5, 2012

Minnesota Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The No. 22 ranked University of Minnesota women's gymnastics team welcomes the No. 18 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to the Sports Pavilion at 6 p.m. on Saturday for each team's 2012 season opener. This is the second year in a row that the Gophers and Buckeyes have opened the season facing one another with last year's meeting being held in Columbus, Ohio.

Last Time vs. Ohio State
The last meeting between Minnesota and Ohio State came on March 19, 2011 at the Big Ten Championships, which was held in Minneapolis, Minn. The Gophers claimed fourth with a 195.325 while the Buckeyes came in fifth with a score of 194.900.

The last head-to-head meeting was on January 8, 2011 at Ohio State to open the 2011 season. The Buckeyes came away with a 194.475 to 193.925 victory over the Maroon and Gold.

Last Meet Recap: Intrasquad
The University of Minnesota held its annual intrasquad meet Monday tonight at the Sports Pavilion in preparation for their season opener. Head coach Meg Stephenson went conservative for the meet and pieced together one team to keep the Gophers fresh for the upcoming weekend. The conjoined Maroon and Gold team posted an overall score of 190.550.

Five gymnasts competed on the vault with freshman Cierra Tomson leading the way with a 9.700. Fellow freshman Jenny Covers recorded the next best score of 9.650 while another freshman in Kylie Schermann tied with sophomores Dusti Russell and Kayla Slechta to round out the scoring with a 9.500. The team had an overall score of 47.850 on the vault.

On uneven bars, six Gophers performed as junior Janell Campbell posted the high score of 9.700. She was trailed closely by Tomson, who earned a 9.675. Russell closed out the top three scores with a 9.575. Minnesota combined for a 47.575 score for the uneven bars.

Junior Shannon Golich headed the charge for the Maroon and Gold on the beam with a 9.775. Schermann finished second with a score of 9.650 with senior Briana Jones rounding out the top three with a 9.600. As a team, the Gophers posted a beam score of 47.525.

Minnesota again performed with a short squad on the floor exercise as only five gymnasts participated in the event. Russell claimed victory on the floor as she posted a 9.750. Tomson and Jones rounded out the top three scoring a 9.700 and 9.675, respectively. The team's overall floor score was 47.600.

Tomson, the freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., was the all-around champion, winning with a 38.100.

GymInfo National Rankings
Minnesota enters the 2012 season ranked No. 22 in the GymInfo National Preseason Rankings. The Golden Gophers are one of seven teams in the Big Ten Conference to receive a Top 25 preseason ranking. The lone conference school that is not in the national rankings is Michigan State, but they are receiving votes.

Coaching the Gophers
Head coach Meg Stephenson is entering her 20th season as a coach with the Golden Gopher program and her 15th as a head coach. Stephenson was a co-head coach with husband Jim from 1998-2009 before taking the helm of the Minnesota program on her own last season.

Stephenson is assisted by Jenny Alf Hansen and Louie Johnson. Both Hansen and Johnson are Minnesota alums.

Saluting a New Captain
Senior Briana Jones has been selected as the captain for the 2012 squad. The Grand Forks, N.D. native is an event specialist on beam and floor.

Cherwink Suffers Another Setback
Sophomore Justine Cherwink will miss the first half of the 2012 season, due to a leg injury, which se suffered back in October. The Aledo, Texas native missed much of last season because of a similar leg injury but with the opposite leg. She is currently on schedule and a return this season is highly anticipated.

Next Meet: Illinois
Minnesota heads to take on Illinois on January 14 at 4 p.m. in Champaign, Ill. The Fighting Illini are currently ranked No. 15 in the GymInfo National Preseason Rankings.

Saturday's Promotions

  • Facebook Night
    • Do you “Like” the Gophers Women’s Gymnastics page? If so, all Faceboook fans will receive free general admission tickets. The 1st 100 Facebook fans will get a T-shirt!
  • Coaches Night
    • Free admission for Club and High School Coaches
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Night (Pink at the Pav)
    • $2 general admission if you wear PINK! Help up support this great initiative by joining us at our Pink at the Pav night!

Follow the Action
All home meets can be watched live by signing up for Gopher All-Access. Each web stream will be accompanied with live commentary from former gymnasts Jamie Bullock and Jade Beattie DeSmidt. Live stat updates can also be found on the schedule page at GopherSports.com.

Gopher Facebook/Twitter
For the latest and most updated information on Minnesota women's gymnastics check out the team on Facebook (Minnesota Women's Gymnastics) and Twitter (@GopherWomensGym).

Get Score Updates on Your Phone
Fans can get scoring updates from all Golden Gopher athletics through the Twitter account @GopherScores. Just find and follow @GopherScores, then set up your phone or mobile device to receive text updates.