Dec. 12, 2013
The Big Ten coaches tabbed the Minnesota women’s gymnastics team third in its annual preseason poll, the conference announced Wednesday. Sophomore Lindsay Mable and senior Dusti Russell were also included on the Big Ten Women’s Gymnasts to Watch List.
Minnesota sits behind No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 Nebraska in the poll. In order, Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, and Iowa round out the selections.
Coming off a 29-13 campaign in 2013 in which it went 6-1 in conference competition to capture a share of the inaugural Big Ten regular-season title with Michigan, the Gophers will return nine gymnasts and welcomes five newcomers to the team.
Mable, a First-Team All-America and First Team All-Big Ten choice tied for fifth on vault at NCAA Championships Individual Event Finals in her first year with the squad. The Aurora, Colo. native later received the team’s Most Valuable Performer and Freshman of the Year awards. Russell, a senior captain, competed in nine meets for in 2013 and had season-best scores of 9.775 on bars and 9.875 on the beam.
The Gophers’ kick off 2014 with their Intrasquad Meet Jan. 4 and begin non-exhibition competition Jan. 11 at the Sports Pavilion against Air Force and Lindenwood. Conference action for Minnesota begins at home against Illinois Jan. 25.
Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Preseason Coaches’ Poll
4. Penn State
5. Ohio State
7. Michigan State
Big Ten Women’s Gymnasts to Watch List
Giana O’Connor, So., Illinois
Amber See, Sr., Illinois
Alie Glover, So., Iowa
Sydney Hoerr, Jr., Iowa
Joanna Sampson, Sr., Michigan
Austin Sheppard, So., Michigan
Alina Cartwright, Jr. Michigan State
Elena Lagoski, Fr., Michigan State
Lindsay Mable, So., Minnesota
Dusti Russell, Sr., Minnesota
Jessie DeZiel, Jr., Nebraska
Emily Wong, Sr., Nebraska
Sarah Miller, Sr., Ohio State
Melanie Shaffer, Sr., Ohio State
Samantha Musto, So., Penn State
Krystal Welsh, Jr., Penn State
Fresh Faces: Becca Taylor
Becca Taylor is one of eight newcomers on the Minnesota women's gymnastics team.
Fresh Faces: Kristen Quaglia
Kristen Quaglia is one of eight newcomers on the Gopher Women's Gymnastics team. Get to know her in this Q&A.
Fresh Faces: Steph Shields
Minnesota welcomes eight fresh faces to their roster this season, including seven freshmen and one transfer. Steph Shields joins the team from University of Wisconsin-Stout.