Gophers Head to PSU for B1G Championships
March 21, 2014
The Minnesota women’s gymnastics, fresh off its second-straight Big Ten regular-season title, will look for its sixth Big Ten Championships win and first since 2006 Saturday at Rec Hall on the Penn State campus in University Park, Pa. The eight conference teams will compete in one of two sessions, and the team with the highest score, regardless of the session, will win the Big Ten Championship. Both sessions will be broadcast live on BTN.
The 6-1 ledger equaled last year’s mark that tied Minnesota for the conference’s inaugural regular-season title with the Wolverines.
Lindsay Mable tied for the best score in the all-around on the day by posting a 39.600, tying the second-best score in school history. It the third 39.600 of Mable’s career and second of the season. Michigan’s Joanna Sampson finished with the same tally.
Minnesota got off to a strong start on the day with a 49.075 on the uneven bars, cracking the 49-point threshold for the fourth time in 2014 with a 49.075. The Gophers finished third on the event and were lead by Mable’s 9.875, a score that tied her for fifth.
The second rotation gave Minnesota a chance to separate itself from the host Wolverines, who went on to 48.075. The Maroon and Gold tied PSU for the win a 49.225, led by a meet-best 9.925 by Mable. Freshman Rachel Haines tied for second with a 9.900.
The Gophers continued the day on its best event, the floor exercise, on which they placed second behind Michigan with a 49.200. Mable again led the team by tying for second with a 9.900, while Kayla Slechta and Cierra Tomson both tied for sixth with 9.850 scores.
On the cusp of victory with a lead after three rotations, the Gophers won the vault outright with a 49.200 to polish off the team win. The Wolverines’ Austin Sheppard won the event individually with a 9.950, but Minnesota had the next three highest finishers as Mable registered a 9.900 and juniors Jenny Covers and Kylie Schermann shared third place with a pair of 9.850 scores.
The 196.700 score was the team’s second best of the season.
Mable’s First-Team All-Big Ten honor is the second of her career after she had a breakout freshman campaign in 2013 that also included All-American accolades. Mable, who has the second-best all-around Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) in the conference, has 22 event wins on the year and has won all-around titles in eight of the team’s 12 meets.
The Aurora, Colo. native is ranked first in the Big Ten on the floor exercise and is third on the vault, sixth on the beam, and tied for 16th on the uneven bars. Mable was a two-time Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and set had the school’s best-ever all-around score with a 39.625 March 1 against Iowa State.
Second-year college gymnast Hanley has competed exclusively on the uneven bars this season and is tied for ninth in the conference with a 9.855 RQS on the event, having won two titles. The all-conference selection was the first for the native of Danielsville, Pa.
Nordquist, a sophomore, was not an All-Big Ten selection last season, but was a First-Team All-American on the balance beam and has specialized on the event in her second season. The Otsego, Minn. native is tied with Mable for sixth on the beam with a 9.865 RQS and has won the event five times. She has averaged a 9.625 in four appearances on the floor exercise in 2014.
Schermann was a First-Team All-Big Ten honoree as a sophomore last season and won the league’s Event Specialist of the Week Award Feb. 17. The junior has won four events on the season and ranks eight in the conference in vault, ninth on the balance beam, and tied for 10th on the floor.
Tomson, who earned the first all-league award of her career, has competed in all four events in all but one meet for the Gophers this season. The junior from Jacksonville, Fla. is ranked 33rd or higher within the conference in all four events, including a 9.875 RQS on the floor exercise, which ties her for eighth. She has won four titles on the uneven bars, one on the floor, and is ranked 10th in the conference in the all around. She won the all-around title Jan. 13 at Washington.