Minnesota wraps up the regular season with a home meet against Utah State. The competition is set to start at 6 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, March 18. Fans can follow the action with live scoring on www.gophersports.com.
Minnesota will honor its three graduating seniors at Saturday’s competition, which will be the last home meet for the class of Laura Johnson, Maria Opsahl, and Kelly Stout.
This senior class has collected a long list of accolades, including an NCAA Championship qualifier (Johnson), a three-time All-Big Ten honoree (Johnson), a NACGC/ W Academic All-American (Stout), and the first two-year captain during the Stephenson era (Opsahl).
The 2006 seniors have had impressive careers athletically, but have also excelled academically. All three seniors have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in every year they were eligible (freshmen are not eligible for the award). All three seniors will graduate this spring: Johnson with a degree in marketing and publications, Opsahl with a degree in elementary education, and Stout with a degree in political science and history.
During the tenure of the senior class of 2006, the Gophers advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship every year, and placed among the top four at the Big Ten Championship every season. The team has recorded 47 wins during their time with the Gopher program. The team has set records for best team score (197.700), best bars score (49.400), best beam score (49.500), and best floor score (49.575) during the last four seasons.
Gophers Ranked No. 21
Minnesota is listed at No. 21 in this week’s edition of the GymInfo National Rankings, after also being ranked No. 21 last week. In the event-by-event rankings, Minnesota is is among the top 25 in all four events, and is currently listed at No. 17 on the floor, No. 18 on the beam, No. 22 on the bars, and No. 25 on the vault.
Laura Johnson is the only Gopher gymnast listed among the top 25 in the GymInfo National Rankings. Johnsonis listed at No. 19 in the all around with an RQS of 39.210, making her the highest-ranked all around performer in the Big Ten. She is the only Big Ten gymnast listed among the top 25 in the floor exercise, coming in at No. 20 this week with an RQS of 9.870. On the bars, Johnson is ranked No. 25 with an RQS of 9.855.
She’s No. 1
Laura Johnson was won 24 event titles so far in 2006, including five first-place finishes on the vault, seven wins on the bars, three top finishes on the beam, four first-place scores on the floor, and five all around titles. She has won at least one event title at nine of the team’s 10 competitions this season.
Johnson has swept first place on all four individual event plus the all around at two meets this year, the Best of Minnesota Meet on Feb. 11, and the dual meet at Iowa on March 5.
Johnson owns the best Minnesota scores of the season on three individual events, and the all around. She has the team’s top bars, and floor scores (9.900 on each event), is tied with Carmelina Carabajal for the top vault score (9.900), and has the best all around score (39.475).
Into the Record Books
Laura Johnson earned a season-best 39.475 in the all around at Iowa last on March 5. Johnson is already listed at No. 2 onMinnesota’s all-time top performers list, since she earned a career-best 39.575 in the all around during her sophomore season in 2004. Her mark of 39.475 at Iowa ties the eighth-best Minnesota all around score in school history.
Stanton Scores Top Beam Score
Sophomore Ashley Stanton won the beam title against Ohio State last weekend, scoring the team’s best beam score of the season with a 9.900. The mark tied Stanton’s career- best score, which she first earned at Denver in the 2005 season. Stanton also has the third-best beam score by a Gopher this season, with a 9.850 at Iowa State on March 3.
Carabajal Vaults to the Top
Freshmen Carmelina Carabajal earned a personal-best 9.900 on the vault against Ohio State last weekend to tie with Laura Johnson for first place. It marked the first even title of Carabajal’s young collegiate career.
Stellar Vault Performance
Minnesota earned its best vault score of the season with a 49.125 against Ohio State on March 11. All five gymnasts who had their scores count toward the team score either set a season-best or career-best score. Carmelina Carabajal earned a personal-best 9.900 to tie for first place with Laura Johnson, who matched her season-best 9.900. Maria Opsahl placed third with a career-high score of 9.825. Ashley Mutchler had her best vault mark of the season with a 9.800 to finish fourth. Kelly Ganchan competed on vault after missing two competitions with an ankle injury, and earned her best vault score of the year with a 9.700 to place sixth.
It’s a Reunion
Several of Minnesota’s gymnasts trained at the same club as a Utah State gymnast before going to college. Minnesota’s Ashley Stanton and Utah State’s Ashley Barr both attended the Colorado Gymnastics Institute before college. Gophers Kelly Ganchan and Nouel Cason trained at Flips USA in Reno, Nev., with USU’s Devin Markle. Gopher captain Maria Opsahl, Ashley Mutchler, and Katie Omann all trained with the Twin City Twisters prior to their college days.
Three members of the Utah State women’s gymnastics team are Minnesota natives. Jaymie Goodsell hails from Blaine, Minn., Katie Omann is from Sartell, Minn., and Megan Tschida is from St. Paul, Minn.
About The Opponent - Utah State
Utah State scored a season-best 193.775 against Southern Utah on Monday. The Aggies were led by Jessica Parenti, who won the bars title with a 9.825. The team had it’s best bars score of the season in the meet.
The Aggies are 5-13 overall, and are 0-8 in the Western Athletic Conference thise season.
Ray Corn is in his 28th season as the Utah State head coach. He is the only coach in USU Division I gymnastics history.