This week: Intrasquad Meet
Minnesota has returned from the Cancun Classic and will host its annual Intrasquad Meet on Jan. 12. The meet will begin at 6 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
For the exhibition competition, the Gopher squad will be split into two teams. At the end of the meet, the top five individual scores overall will be combined to tally a single team score.
Coming up Next Week: New Hampshire
The Gophers will kick off the regular-season home schedule on Jan. 19 when Minnesota plays host to the University of New Hampshire. The competition will take place at the Sports Pavilion and will begin at 6 p.m.
Looking Ahead: Gophers to Host NCAA North Central Region Championship
The University of Minnesota has been selected to host the 2008 NCAA North Central Region Championship. The championship will be held at the Sports Pavilion on April 12 at 6 p.m., and will feature six teams from around the country. If the Golden Gophers are selected to compete in a regional championship, they will compete at home in the Sports Pavilion.
Tickets are available and may be ordered online at www.gophersports.com, or by calling the athletics ticket office at 612-624-8080 or toll free at 1-800-U-GOPHER. All seats are reserved.
The University of Minnesota is one of six institutions to host a regional championship in 2008. The other five sites and host institutions are: Baton Rouge, La. (Louisiana State University), University Park, Pa. (Penn State University), Norman, Okla. (University of Oklahoma), Gainesville, Fla. (University of Florida), and Corvallis, Ore. (Oregon State University).
Two teams from each regional championship will advance to the NCAA National Championship, which will be hosted by the University of Georgia on April 24-26, 2008.
Gopher Gymnastics on the Internet
Audio and video coverage of each regular-season home meet as well as the NCAA Regional Championship, will also be on the athletics website. Audio commentary for the live webcasts will be provided by student assistant coach Andy Cornelius. Audio and video coverage of the Gophers' competitions is offered to Gold Zone subscribers. Click on the Gold Zone to find all the live events carried on www.gophersports.com.
Minnesota received votes in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll. During the 2008 season, Minnesota will compete against 14 teams listed in the preseason poll, including four top-10 programs in No. 3 Utah, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 9 Michigan, and No. 10 LSU.
Five of seven Big Ten teams are ranked among the top 25 in the preseason poll, and all seven conference programs are listed in the poll. Michigan is the top-ranked Big Ten team at No. 9, followed by No. 13 Penn State, No. 20 Ohio State, No. 21 Michigan State, and No. 23 Illinois. Minnesota and Iowa both received votes in the poll.
Up Against the Best
Minnesota continues the tradition of scheduling tough competition, as 14 of the Gophers’ 16 Division I opponents in the upcoming season advanced to an NCAA Regional Championship in 2007. Three teams that Minnesota will face in 2008 were top 10 national finishers in 2007, as Utah was the NCAA runner up, LSU finished seventh, and Oklahoma finished eighth at the national meet. The Big Ten Conference had five teams finish the 2007 season among the nation’s top 20, and looks to be strong again in the coming season.
Senior Amanda Miles has been elected team captain for the 2008 season. Miles also served as team captain as a junior last season.
Making Their Debut
Three of Minnesota’s freshmen made their collegiate debuts last weekend at the Cancun Classic. Ana Balboa and Kristin Furukawa each competed in two events, while Kendra Elm was inserted into the line up on bars.
Elm had the higest score of the freshmen, earning a 9.700 on bars, Minnesota’s second-highest bars score of the meet.
Furukawa tallied a 9.500 on vault, and had her best score of the night, a 9.650, on bars. Furukawa’s bars score was the third-best for Minnesota in Cancun.
Ana Balboa competed on vault and beam, where she earned marks of 9.450 and 9.400, respectively. Balboa was the only freshman to make the beam line up.
Carabajal Earns Top Gopher Score
Junior all around performer Carmelina Carabajal earned Minnesota’s top individual score at the Cancun Classic with a 9.825 on floor. Carabajal’s score was good for fifth place overall in the floor exercise.
Carabajal was Minnesota’s only all around competitor at the meet in Cancun. With her marks of 9.700 on vault, 9.625 on bars, 9.700 on beam, and 9.825 on floor, her all around total was 38.850, which was good for third place in the all around standings.
Picking up Where She Left Off
Junior Angela Walker was Minnesota’s top performer on uneven bars in 2007, and began the 2008 season as the team’s top scorer on bars at the Cancun Classic. Walker led the way for the Gophers with a mark of 9.725, good for seventh place overall.
In 2007, Walker owned the team’s top five bars scores, and was the team leader on bars at six meets, including the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA regional.
Steady as Usual
Throughout her Gopher career, senior Ashley Stanton has been one of the most consistent balance beam performers. In her 40 beam performances in competition so far, her score has counted toward the team score 39 times. The only time her beam score was not counted in the team score was at the NCAA Regional in 2005.
Stanton started the 2008 season strong, earning a 9.800 at the Cancun Classic. Her score was the top on beam for Minnesota and was good for third place overall. Stanton was the Gophers’ highest-placing gymnast at the Cancun meet.