In the second of our event previews for the season, today we look at the Golden Gopher uneven bars team and what to expect from Minnesota on the bars in 2011.
“Bars, along with beam, have been our strongest events in the past several years,” said head coach Meg Stephenson. “We lost a very strong bars competitor with the graduation of Alexis Russell, but we feel that our bars team will be very strong again this season.”
The coaching staff is impressed with the improvements made by the returning bars workers in Yuri Nagai, Kendra Elm, Lucy Ennis, Kristin Furukawa and Janell Campbell.
“Our returners are doing such remarkable, beautiful gymnastics on bars, they have really worked hard to perfect their routines,” said Stephenson. “Our senior class of Kristin, Yuri and Kendra are amazing. Lucy, a junior, is a fantastic bars performer and one of our most consistent competitors.”
With so many bars performers returning, competition for the six spots in the line up is great, and the freshman class has several strong bars performers. “Kayla Slechta and Dusti Russell are great, and Megan Alvarez will be ready by mid-season,” said Stephenson. “To earn a spot in the line up, the gymnasts will have to polish their routines to be as perfect as they can, which is what they’ve all been working on.”
Coach Stephenson is proud of the variety in the team’s bars routines. “We don’t have any stock bars routines, our gymnasts are doing many different things in their routines, it will be really fun for our fans to watch this season. I believe our bars work is really something to marvel at.”
Check back tomorrow for a preview of the Gophers on beam.