This Week: Big Ten Championship
Minnesota heads to Ohio State to compete in the 2010 Big Ten Championship on Saturday, March 27. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. central, and will be aired live on the Big Ten Network with announcers .
Minnesota slipped out of the top 25 and is currently ranked No. 27 in the GymInfo National Rankings. In the event rankings, the Gophers are listed among the top 25 on the uneven bars (No. 20) and balance beam (No. 18).
Four Big Ten teams are currently ranked among the nation’s top 25, led by No. 9 Michigan. Illinois is No. 13, Penn State comes in at No. 17 this week, and Michigan State took the No. 25 spot. Iowa (No. 30) and Ohio State (No. 32) are ranked lower than the Gophers.
Big Ten Rankings
Minnesota has four gymnasts listed among the top 15 in the Big Ten rankings this week:
Name Event Rank RQS
Alexis Russell Bars 9 9.835
Kendra Elm Bars 12 9.820
Kristin Furukawa Beam 8 9.835
Ana Balboa Beam 11 9.820
Alexis Russell Beam 15 9.800
Alexis Russell Floor 6 9.875
Alexis Russell All around 8 39.130
Alexis Russell had a memorable Senior Night last Saturday against Iowa State. She won the all around, tying her career-best with a 39.45. She placed either first or second in every event of the competition. She won floor (9.90) and tied for first on vault (9.85). She tied for second on bars (9.875) and beam (9.825).
Alexis has won four all around titles this season, as well as three floor titles and two vault titles. She has been the team’s top scorer on bars at nine of 12 meets this season. Russell has also been the team’s best performer on floor at nine meets, in addition to earning Minnesota’s top score on vault at four meets this season.
The team leaders in average score for the season are:
Name Event Season Average
Lucy Ennis Vault 9.745
Alexis Russell Bars 9.804
Ana Balboa Beam 9.756
Alexis Russell Floor 9.843
Minnesota is ranked No. 20 on the uneven bars this week. The Gophers have tallied bars scores of 49 or better at four meets this season. The last time Minnesota had that many bars scores of 49-plus was in 2004, when it compiled six scores above 49.
Minnesota saved its best floor performance for the final meet of the 2010 regular season. The Gophers earned a 49.20 on floor against Iowa State last weekend, marking the best team score on any event this season. All five counting scores were 9.80 or higher. Freshmen Making Impact
Three Minnesota freshmen tallied impressive scores in last weekend’s dual with the Cyclones. Shannon Golich had a 9.825 onn floor in just her second floor performance. Jasmine Brown competed on bars for the first time, and earned a 9.775. Janell Campbell got a 9.80 for her floor routine.
Last Year at the Big Ten Championship
The Golden Gophers placed fourth with a score of 196.000 at the 2009 Big Ten Championship, led by all around and balance beam champion Carmelina Carabajal.
Carabajal scored a career-best 39.50 to win the all around crown, becoming the first all around champion for Minnesota since Marie Roethlisberger won the title in 1989.
The Gophers’ first event of the competition was floor exercise, where the team earned a 48.825. Carabajal was the top scorer for the Gophers, earning a 9.90 to tie for fifth place overall. Alexis Russell was the second-highest scorer for Minnesota, earning a 9.875. Lucy Ennis had the third-best score for the team with a 9.70.
Minnesota moved to vault, where they had their strongest performance of the season with a 49.075. Once again, Carabajal was the top scorer for the Gophers. She scored 9.875 to lead her team and place in a tie for sixth place. Jamie Bullock was also in the top 10 on vault, tying for ninth place with a career-best score of 9.85. Alexis Russell earned a 9.825.
On bars, the Gophers matched their team score from the previous rotation, earning a 49.075 on bars. Alexis Russell was the top performer for the team, matching her personal-best score with a 9.90. Russell tied for second place in the event. Kristin Furukawa also placed among the top 10 on bars, tying for sixth place overall with a mark of 9.85.
Minnesota finished the competition on balance beam. The team tallied a score of 49.025, led by Carmelina Carabajal’s winning performance. Carabajal scored a 9.90 to win the sixth beam title in Minnesota history and the first since Cathy Keyser won on beam in 1998. Jamie Bullock and Alexis Russell were also in the top five on beam, as each tied for fifth place with scores of 9.85.
Both Carmelina Carabajal and Alexis Russell were named first-team All-Big Ten honorees, and both finished in the top four in the all around at the conference meet. Carabajal took first place in the all around (39.50), while Russell was fourth, matching her personal best all around score with a 39.45.
Minnesota’s History in the Big Ten Championship
The Gophers have won five Big Ten titles, with their last conference championship coming in 2006. The team also won conference titles in 1998, 1991, 1989, and 1988.
Nineteen Gopher gymnasts have won 32 individual Big Ten titles since 1978. Marie Roethlisberger holds the record for the most individual titles by a Minnesota gymnast, with seven in her career, including four titles at the 1989 championship (all around, bars, beam, vault).