Gophers Head to UNH for Quad-Meet

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Jan. 18, 2014

Logo   No. 20 Minnesota at New Hampshire Wildcat Invitational
Date Sunday, January 19
Time 12:00 p.m. CT
Location Lundholm Gymnasium (3,500)
Last Meeting

New Hampshire - Won 191.65-189.3 (Jan. 19, 2008)
Yale - First meeting
Brown - First meeting 

Previews/Notes Minnesota | New Hampshire | Yale | Brown
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The Gophers end their second week of the regular season 2,147 miles away from where they began it. After traveling to No. 20 Washington Monday, Minnesota will take on New Hampshire, Brown, and Yale in Durham, N.H. at the Wildcat Invitational Quad-Meet Sunday. The meet begins at noon (central time).

About New Hampshire
New Hampshire, the host of this Sunday's meet, is off to an 0-1 start after falling to Rutgers, 195.075-191. UNH has four seniors and three juniors, but is a young squad oveall with 12 underclassmen. 

About Yale
After scoring a high of 193.475 in 2013, the Bulldogs will open their season at UNH Sunday. Yale returns 10 gymnasts from last year's squad.  

About Brown
Like Yale, defending Ivy League champion Brown opens its season Sunday. The Bears have 11 returnees from 2013, including four seniors. 

Last Time Against the Competition
Minnesota will face Ivy League foes Yale and Brown for the first time this weekend. The Gophers last competed against New Hampshire six years ago to the day of Sunday's meet at the Sports Pavilion, downing the Wildcats by a score of 191.65-189.3.

Last Meet Recap: at No. 20 Washington
Two days after taking first place in its first meet of the season, the 14th-ranked Minnesota women's gymnastics team defeated No. 20 Washington on the road Monday night by a final score of 196.35-195.025. The Gophers won all four events and junior Cierra Tomson led the way by taking the all-around title with a career-high score of 39.375.

With the win, the Gophers improved to 3-0 on the season and defeated its only ranked opponent of the season a year and a day after dispatching the then-No. 17 Huskies at the Sports Pavilion.

In the vault, junior Jenny Covers and sophomore Lindsay Mable claimed the top two spots in the event with scores of 9.9 and 9.85, respectively, en route to a team score of 49. Covers' previous high score in the vault as a Gopher was 9.7.

Minnesota had three gymnasts in the top four in the uneven bars competition, led by a Tomson 9.9. Mable and freshman Bailie Holst matched their event-winning scores from the first meet of the season in the second meet to tie for third at 9.85, helping pace the team to a 49.1 score.

As was the case in the Gophers' Saturday balance beam competition, the Maroon and Gold took the win and Hannah Nordquist recorded took first place. Minnesota scored 49.025 on the event and Nordquist surpassed her season-opening score with an improved 9.9.

For the fourth consecutive event, it was a 9.9 that earned the title. Mable took home her fourth event win of the young season with the first place finish. The Aurora, Colo. native was followed by three teammates--Tomson, Kayla Slechta, and Kylie Schermann--who all scored a 9.85. Minnesota finished with a 49.225.

The Gophers get right back to action Monday night on the West Coast when they clash with 20th-ranked Washington. Their next home meet is Jan. 25 against Illinois--the team's Big Ten conference opener. 

National Rankings
Minnesota entered the 2014 season ranked No. 14 in the GymInfo National Preseason Rankings before slipping to No. 20 after its first meet. The Golden Gophers were one of six teams in the Big Ten Conference to receive a Top 25 preseason ranking. The only conference schools that are not in the national rankings are Michigan State and Iowa, but they are receiving votes. Last season, Minnesota went 16-7 against ranked foes. The Gophers are 1-0 against them this season. 

Coaching the Gophers
Head coach Meg Stephenson is entering her 16th season at the Gophers' helm. Stephenson is assisted by Jenny (Alf) Hansen and Louie Johnson. Both Hansen and Johnson are Minnesota alums. 

Next Meet: Illinois
After a busy week of traveling, the Gophers will return home to face Illinois in their first conference test of the season to close out the month of January. 

New Career Marks
Junior Cierra Tomson set a new career high score on the floor exercise last Saturday with a 9.9 and followed that up with a new high score of 39.375 on the all around Monday to win the title. Jenny Covers tied her personal best in the uneven bars by notching a 9.825 in the team's first meet.