This Week: Illinois-Chicago
The No. 25 Gophers will return home to play host to Illinois-Chicago on Feb. 23. The meet will begin at 6 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
Coming Up Next Week: Iowa & Iowa State
The Gophers hit the road for the Iowa tour Feb. 29 and March 2. Minnesota will compete at Iowa in Iowa City on Friday, Feb. 29, followed by a Sunday meet at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on March 2.
Minnesota moved up four spots to No. 25 in the GymInfo National Rankings this week. The Gophers are ranked No. 37 on vault, No. 23 on bars, No. 17 on beam, and No. 29 on floor.
This week’s opponent, Illinois-Chicago, is not listed in the national rankings because they have only competed in five meets this season, and six scores are required to appear in the rankings, which are based on Regional Qualifying Scores beginning this week.
The Big Ten Conference is a powerhouse in women’s gymnastics again this season. All seven Big Ten teams are ranked among the top 25 this week, with Michigan leading the way at No. 4. Penn State is ranked No. 16, Michigan State is No. 19, Ohio State is No. 20, Illinois is No. 21, Iowa is No. 24, and Minnesota rounds out the conference at No. 25.
Explaining the Regional Qualifying Score
Starting this week, teams are ranked by Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). A team’s RQS is calculated by taking the top six scores of the season, of which at least three must be from away meets. Of those six scores, the top one is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. The result is an RQS.
The NCAA uses Regional Qualifying Scores to determine which 36 teams qualify for an NCAA Regional Championship. The top 18 teams are seeded into the six regional competition sites, with three of the top 18 going to each site. The next three highest-ranked teams in each region fill out each regional field.
Fans in the Stands
The Best of Minnesota attendance on Feb. 9 was 2,685, which ties for the eighth-best attendance mark in team history. The Best of Minnesota attendance is the best since the Gophers attracted a crowd of 2,778 for the Best of Minnesota meet in 2002.
Currently, the Gophers have a home attendance average of 2,068. Last season’s home attendance average was 1,650, and ranked No. 18 in the nation. Minnesota has ranked among the nation’s top 25 in women’s gymnastics attendance in each of the last 10 seasons.
Leading the Way
Carmelina Carabajal has the team’s top scores of the season in three events as well as the all around. She’s tied with Jamie Bullock for the best vault score (9.825), owns the best bars score (9.875), and is tied with Ashley Stanton for the best beam score (9.875). She also leads the way in the all around with a best score of 39.275. In the only event where she doesn’t have the highest score, floor exercise, she has the team’s third-best score (9.825).
Carabajal has the team’s best average score on vault (9.750), beam (9.775), and floor (9.775).
Stanton Strong on Beam
Senior Ashley Stanton has placed among the top three on beam in five of six meets this season, including wins in each of the last two meets. She has led the team on beam at three meets.
At Michigan last weekend, Stanton took first place on beam with a 9.875. The score was Stanton’s best of the season on beam, and ties with Carmelina Carabajal for the best on the team this year.
Nagai Consistent on Bars
Freshman Yuri Nagai posted a 9.825 on bars at the Best of Minnesota meet, a personal best. She followed up with a 9.800 at Michigan last weekend. Her average bars score for the year is 9.755, and is the best on the team.
Russell Returning From Injury
Sophomore Alexis Russell injured her right knee competing on vault in the meet against New Hampshire on Jan. 19. She was the alternate on floor exercise at Michigan last weekend, and is probable to return to competition this weekend against Illinois-Chicago.
The Opponent: Illinois-Chicago
The Flames were last in action on Feb. 9 vs. Arizona. UIC lost the meet, but scored a season-best 192.975. Co-captain Annie Kachman led the Flames by taking the floor exercise title with a 9.850. Kachman also placed second and scored season-best scores on the uneven parallel bars (9.800) and in the all-around (39.050).
The UIC team's home meet scheduled for last weekend versus Northern Illinois was cancelled in the aftermath of Thursday's tragic events on NIU's campus.
The Flames are led by co-head coaches Peter and Mary Jansson, who are in their 18th season at UIC and their eighth season as co-head coaches.
The Last Meeting
The Gophers and Wolverines last met on Jan. 21, 2006 in Chicago. Minnesota won the meet 193.625-192.900.
The Gophers: Breakdown by Event
Vault: Carmelina Carabajal owns three of the team’s top five vault scores this season, and has two event titles to her name this season. Carabajal has been the team’s top performer on vault at five of six competitions this season, and has the team’s best average score on vault with a 9.750. Jamie Bullock notched her personal-best vault score with a 9.825 at the Best of Minnesota, and has two of the team’s top five scores this year. At Michigan last weekend, Jade Beattie was the Gophers’ top performer on vault, matching her season-best score with a 9.725. Minnesota’s top vault score is a 48.650, earned in the meet at Utah (2/1).
Bars: Carmelina Carabajal earned the team’s best bars score of the season with a career-best 9.875 at the Best of Minnesota (2/9). Yuri Nagai was inserted into the bars line up in the New Hampshire meet, taking the place of the injured Alexis Russell, and has had great results since entering the line up. Nagai had the team’s best bars score against New Hampshire, a 9.650 to place second overall. She earned a 9.750 against Iowa State and Utah, before setting her personal best with a 9.825 at the Best of Minnesota. Adding in a score of 9.800 at Michigan, Nagai has the team’s best average score on bars with an average of 9.755. Freshmen Kendra Elm and Kristin Furukawa each set career-high marks at the Best of Minnesota with scores of 9.825. Minnesota’s top team score on bars is a 49.050 and came at the Best of Minnesota (2/9). Four of the team’s top five scores on bars were earned at the Best of Minnesota meet.
Beam: Carmelina Carabajal and Ashley Stanton are tied for the team’s best beam score this year, 9.875. Carabajal scored her career-best 9.875 against Iowa State on Jan. 26. Carabajal has the team’s best average beam score, a 9.7755. Ashley Stanton owns two of the team’s top five scores on beam, with a event-winning 9.875 at Michigan and a 9.825 against Utah (2/1). As a team, Minnesota’s top team score was a 48.850, scored against Iowa State (1/26). Minnesota’s highest event ranking is the team’s No. 17 national ranking on beam.
Floor: Amanda Miles owns two of the top five scores on floor this season, both marks of 9.850. Carmelina Carabajal has two scores of 9.825 this season. Carabajal has an average floor score of 9.775, which leads the team. Against Iowa State on Jan. 26, Angela Walker was the team’s top performer with a 9.825, which tied her career-best score. Walker also led the team at the Best of Minnesota meet with a score of 9.800. Minnesota tallied its best team score on floor (48.625) against Iowa State (1/26).