Behind strong performances from the underclassmen, the No. 10-ranked Gopher men’s gymnastics team took care of No. 17 Washington Huskies 398.000-375.550 on Friday at Maturi Pavilion.
“I was really happy to see the freshman come through," said head coach Mike Burns. “Donte [McKinney] and Crew [Bold] did a really nice job and to see the freshmen starting to step up and not just be a part of the supporting class, but pushing the upperclassmen.”
Sophomore Tyler Davis helped the Gophers get their night off on the right foot by setting a new career-high on floor with a 13.150. However, it was sophomore Mike Moran who finished at the top of the podium with a 13.750.
On the pommel horse, freshman Donte McKinney got his first event win with a 13.250 which was just the start to his impressive night. McKinney later found himself on the top of the podium following a 14.500 score on vault.
“Honestly I was kind of nervous at first. On floor I was feeling a little dehydrated and tired, and I got to pommels and I wasn’t feeling all that up,” McKinney said. “[The fans] hyped me up and I was in the moment.”
The Gophers kept their event winning streak alive after freshman Crew Bold scored a 13.450 on the rings.
Bold then set a career-high on vault with a 14.150. As a team, the Gophers matched their season-high in this event with a 70.200.
Senior captain Timmy Kutyla, who had been a spectator all night until the parallel bars, showed no signs of rust. He won the event with a score of 13.600, adding to Minnesota's accolades.
The Gophers wrapped up their night on the high bars and secured a full sweep of event titles. McKinney continued his dominance as he got another career-high with a 13.800 and won his third event of the night. McKinney now holds the team lead for highest score on the high bars this season.
After a solid performance on Friday, McKinney was already looking forward.
“I’m looking forward to upgrading my routine,” McKinney said. “I think I proved I can hit my set, like these kind of watered-down sets, so I’m ready to upgrade and try something new.”
Despite winning every event title Friday, the Gophers did not have a great all-around meet. They scored their third-lowest total this season, but it came against the right opponent.
The Gophers travel to Nebraska next week to face the No. 4 Huskers and No. 14 Army on Saturday, Feb. 15.
“I know where we’re at and what we need to fix,” Burns said. “We’ll go out to Nebraska and hopefully we get a good, solid competition. Also get a chance to see some guys that normally don’t get a chance to compete.”