The No. 21 University of Minnesota women’s gymnastics team lost to No. 7 Oklahoma, but scored its best score of the season with a 195.675. Tonight's score betters the team's previous high score of 194.425 by more than a full point. Highlighting the meet for Minnesota were Carmelina Carabajal and Alexis Russell, who each set personal best marks in the all around, and finished first and second, respectively in the all around competition.
Minnesota competed on the uneven bars in the first rotation, earned a team score of 48.925, the team’s second-best bars score of the year. Kristin Furukawa was the team’s top scorer on bars for the second week in a row. Furukawa, a sophomore, earned a 9.85 to place second overall. Carabajal had her best bars score of the 2009 campaign, earning a 9.8 to tie for fifth place. Sophomore Julie Kinal had a 9.725 on bars, matching her personal-best score.
On the vault, Carabajal was the top performer for the Golden Gophers, earning a 9.85 to tie for second place overall. The score was Carabajal’s best on vault this season. Alexis Russell tallied a 9.8 on vault, tying her best score on the event in 2009. As a team, Minnesota compiled a score of 48.575.
In the third rotation, Minnesota competed on floor exercise, where Russell led the way for the Golden Gophers. Russell tied for fourth place overall with a 9.825, her career-best floor score. Also earning personal-best scores on floor were sophomores Kendra Elm and Yuri Nagai, who each earned a 9.775. Freshman Lucy Ennis matched her personal-best score with a 9.725. Minnesota’s team score on floor was 48.900, the team’s best floor score of the season.
Minnesota shined on beam tonight, earning their best team event score of the 2009 season. The Gophers tallied a 49.275 on beam, led by Carabajal and fellow senior Angela Walker, who each got marks of 9.9 to tie for first place. Walker’s score is her personal best on beam. Sophomore Jamie Bullock was also in the top three, tying for third place with a 9.875, also setting a career-best score. Russell notched the best beam score of her career as well, earning a 9.825.
In the all around competition, Carabajal was the champion, tallying the best all around score of her collegiate career with a 39.35. Russell earned her best-ever all around score as well, compiling a 39.225 to place second in the all around competition.
The Gopher squad will return home to the friendly confines of the Sports Pavilion for their next competition, hosting Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 7. The meet will begin at 6 p.m., and will be available via live webcast on www.gophersports.com.