This Week: Illinois
The Gophers return home to host No. 20 Illinois at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 20. The competition will begin at 6 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
Fans of Gopher athletics on facebook.com will get free admission to the meet against Illinois this weekend. Become a fan of Minnesota Gophers or Golden Gopher Women's Gymnastics on Facebook to get free admission. The first 100 Facebook fans at the meet on Saturday will also get a free gymnastics t-shirt!
Eleven gymnast were among 553 Minnesota student-athletes honored at the 21st Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Ceremony at the McNamara Alumni Center this week.
Freshman Jenny Weber was recognized for having a perfect 4.0 GPA for fall semester.
Five gymnasts were named Maroon Scholar Athletes for having term GPAs of 3.0 or better: Jasmine Brown, Jenny Weber, Janell Campbell, Kristin Furukawa, and Shannon Golich.
Six gymnasts were given Gold Scholar Athlete Awards for having a cumulative GPA above 3.0, and at least two semesters as a student-athlete: Ana Balboa, Lucy Ennis, Briana Jones, Kylie Smith, Jamie Bullock, Kendra Elm.
Minnesota slipped to No. 35 in the GymInfo National Rankings this week. The Gophers are listed among the top 25 on the uneven bars, coming in at No. 23 this week (48.454 average).
Balboa Steps Up
Ana Balboa was Minnesota’s top scorer on beam and floor in last weekend’s meet at Michigan. Balboa was Minnesota’s highest scorer on beam for the second time this season, after she tied for the team’s top beam score at the season opener (vs. Denver, Jan. 9). Balboa was the team’s leader on floor exercise for the first time in her career.
Russell Consistent on Bars
Senior Alexis Russell has earned five scores of 9.825 or better this season. Her top score was a 9.875 in the season opener against Denver. She tallied a 9.850 at home against Michigan State and at the Best of Minnesota. Russell currently ranks No. 22 nationally and No. 4 in the Big Ten on bars.
Home Sweet Home
Minnesota has fared much better in home competitions than away meets this season. In home meets, the Gophers average 194.558 this year, while the average score when competing on the road is just 191.700.
Fans have been attending Minnesota gymnastics meets in droves this season. The average home attendance through the first three home meets in the 2010 season is 2,186. The average attendance at the same point in the 2009 season was 1,283.
A crowd of 3,472 attended the Best of Minnesota meet on Feb. 6, a mark that ranks third on Minnesota’s all-time top attendance list. The meet was the highest-attended regular season meet in program history, as the top two attendance marks were set at NCAA Regional Championships.
After missing two weeks of competition with a neck injury, junior Yuri Nagai is expected to return to the line up this weekend against Illinois
Bullock Out for Season
Jamie Bullock, a junior, underwent wrist surgery last week to repair a cartilage/ligament complex and shorten her ulna bone. She will not return to competition this season.
Coming Up Next Week: at Iowa State & Iowa
The Gophers compete twice next weekend, starting with a meet at Iowa State on Friday evening. On Sunday afternoon, Minnesota will compete at Iowa.
Gopher Gymnastics on the Internet
The remainder of Minnesota’s regular-season home meets will have a live webcast on the Gophers’ website at www.gophersports.com. Audio and video coverage of each regular-season home meet will be available to Gold Zone subscribers. Live scoring for all home meets will also be available on www.gophersports.com, free of charge.
Minnesota on the Big Ten Network
Minnesota will appear on the Big Ten Network three times this season. The home meet against Michigan State on Jan. 23 and the meet at Penn State on Jan. 30 were telecast on a tape-delay basis. The Big Ten Championship will once again be televised live, the competition will take place on March 27.