Feb. 29, 2012
The University of Minnesota women's gymnastics team continues its road swing by heading to Fayetteville, Ark. to face No. 8-ranked Arkansas. The Gophers are coming off a two-meet weekend in Iowa, where they achieved their highest team score of the season, 196.250. The meet against the nationally ranked Razorbacks begins at 7 p.m. in Barnhill Arena.
Last Weekend: Iowa and Iowa State
The Gophers pieced together another great performance as they tallied a season-best score for the third straight week with a 196.250. The impressive team score was good enough to defeat Big Ten rival Iowa on the road at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Sophomore Dusti Russell nearly stole the spotlight as she grabbed first place on vault and in the all around while also sharing the top score on floor and balance beam. Junior Janell Campbell matched Russell on the floor exercise with a 9.875 while freshman Kylie Schermann equaled the Oshkosh, Wis. native's score on beam with a 9.875.
On top of earning three individual event crowns, Russell would also achieve the highest all around score on the night of 39.450, which was also a career-best. Freshman Cierra Tomson quietly scored a 39.025, respectively, to grab second in the four-event competition.
Minnesota closed out the tough two-meet weekend with a 195.150 at Iowa State. The Gophers' score was limited by a few falters in the opening rotation on uneven bars, but the squad sprung back in the final rotations to post their second-highest road score of the season. Despite the strong effort, Iowa State came away with the victory by scoring a season-best 195.975.
The Gophers, who scored a season-best score of 196.450 at Iowa on Friday, had three gymnasts grab first place honors on the day. Sophomore Kayla Slechta won vault outright while junior Shannon Golich and sophomore Dusti Russell shared titles with ISU competitors on beam and floor.
Russell finished the day with an all around score of 39.200, which was good enough for second. Tomson put together another solid day as she came in fourth, respectively, with a 39.000.
For the third-straight weekend, the Gophers achieved a new season-high team score. Minnesota scored a 196.250 in Iowa City, Iowa this past Friday, which surpassed their previous best of 196.150.
Moving Up Rank
Just three weeks ago, Minnesota was sitting just outside of the Top 25, but after posting three-straight season highs, the Gophers are now sitting at No. 18 in the latest GymInfo Rankings with a Regional Qualifying Score of 195.285.
Going Against the Best
The Golden Gophers have had stiff competition this season with facing five opponents that have been ranked in the Top 15. This weekend, No. 8 Arkansas will be the Gophers' sixth opponent to join that category.
Performing on the Road
Minnesota's score of 196.250 last weekend was the highest for a Gopher squad since March 12, 2004 when they achieved a score of 197.700 at Arizona State.
Russell: The All-Around Girl
Sophomore Dusti Russell has exploded this season in the all around competition. The Oshkosh, Minn. native has score above a 39.000 in each of the past five meets, a feat that she never surpassed once last season. This past weekend at Iowa, Russell scored a season-high 39.450 thanks to personal-best scores on vault and bars.
Cherwink Suffers Another Setback
Sophomore Justine Cherwink will miss the first half of the 2012 season, due to a torn achilles, which she suffered back in October. The Aledo, Texas native missed much of last season because of a similar injury but with the opposite leg. Her rehab is currently on schedule and a return this season is highly anticipated.
Next Weekend: Iowa State
The Gophers return to the Twin Cities next weekend for their final home meet of the season. Minnesota will host Iowa State on Senior Night, which will honor Lucy Ennis, Amber Hammerschmidt and Briana Jones. The meet begins at 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
Follow the Action
All home meets except the Nebraska meet can be watched live by signing up for Gopher All-Access. Each web stream will be accompanied with live commentary from former gymnasts Jamie Bullock and Jade Beattie DeSmidt. Live scoring updates can also be found on the schedule page at GopherSports.com.
For the latest and most updated information on Minnesota women's gymnastics check out the team on Facebook and Twitter.
Get Score Updates on Your Phone
Fans can get scoring updates from all Golden Gopher athletics through the Twitter account @GopherScores. Just find and follow @GopherScores, then set up your phone or mobile device to receive text updates.