The Gophers men’s gymnastics team continued its steady improvement Saturday night at the Sports Pavilion against Iowa and Brockport.
Minnesota posted another season-high score of 347 points to Iowa’s 338.2 and Brockport’s 284.3 to increase the team’s winning streak to six meets. The Gophers’ overall record is now 6-1.
The No. 6 Gophers outranked the No. 12 Hawkeyes and the No. 19 Golden Eagles of the 19 ranked teams.
“It would have been great to go and hit 100 percent today and get that sense of where we could be from a score standpoint. We easily gave away a 350 today which is what we know we’re capable of,” head coach Mike Burns said. “Not all cylinders are quite there, so we’ve got a month to fix it” before the Big Ten championships April 6-7.
Adam Kern had two scores higher than 15.0. His 15.2 on vault tied him for first with teammate Zack Chase. His 15.1 on floor exercise was a personal record and good for second.
“When we recruited him, he was not a highly recruited kid. But when we started looking at him, he had mega talent. It was totally untapped,” Burns said.
The sophomore received the meet MVP award for the first time in his career, but he said he still feels like he has yet to peak.
“This whole season we’ve just been trying to keep the momentum going in the upward direction. … We’re still not at our best. We still have a lot of room for improvement and I feel our team can do really great things if we just put it all together,” Kern said.
DJ Repp also scored a 15.2 with his personal record and winning floor exercise routine. Adam LaFleur earned a 15.0 for his third-place vault. Russell Dabritz scored a 15.1 when he championed parallel bars.
LaFleur and Sean Bauer rounded out the floor exercise sweep with a third-place tie of 14.9. Ross Cameratta and Steve Jaciuk’s 14.6 did the same on parallel bars.
Harris Coleman took the pommel horse with a 14.3, followed by a tenth of a point by Dabritz. Dabritz’s 14.7 was a three-way tie for first on rings with Iowa’s Anton Gryshayev and Matt McGrath.
The only event Minnesota did not win was the high bar, which went to Iowa’s Broderick Shemansky’s 14.3. Dabritz finished second with a 14.1.
The men compete next weekend against Nebraska and Illinois in Lincoln, Neb.
Women fall to No. 8 Arkansas
The No. 18 women struggled Friday against the powerhouse Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Gophers (195.475) fell almost a full point behind Arkansas (196.325).
The team’s difficulties on balance beam and uneven parallel bars held them back, even though it edged Arkansas on both vault and floor exercise.
“What’s really important to remember is that our win-loss record doesn’t matter,” head coach Meg Stephenson said. “What we try to do is get our team prepared for competing in the championships.”
The nonconference meet against Arkansas proved to be good preparation for Minnesota’s upcoming Big Ten and NCAA championships because of the travel, Stephenson said.
“All of the championship meets this year are away and we don’t know where we’ll be at regionals,” Stephenson said. “We like to give them the opportunity where they have to travel and be in a different arena.”
Freshman Jenny Covers scored a personal record 9.875 on vault to claim second. Teammate Kayla Slechta’s 9.85 followed in a tie for third with Arkansas’ Amy Borsellino.
Shannon Golich placed second on balance beam with a 9.875. Her teammates Amber Hammerschmidt and Kylie Schermann tied in third place with a 9.8.
Janell Campbell took second in the floor exercise with another 9.875.
Arkansas swept the top-three spots on the uneven parallel bars. Arkansas’ Jaime Pisani won all four events as well as the all-around title over Minnesota’s Dusti Russell and Cierra Tomson.
The women return to the Sports Pavilion next weekend for their last home meet of the regular season against Iowa State.
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