Gophers fall to Nebraska in Pink Meet

Junior Lindsay Mable set a new program record in the all-around.

Sophomore Rachel Haines celebrates with assistant coach Rich Stenger after her vault performance at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday evening against Nebraska.

Liam James Doyle

Sophomore Rachel Haines celebrates with assistant coach Rich Stenger after her vault performance at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday evening against Nebraska.

by Brad Bobel

When the Gophers trotted onto the Sports Pavilion’s floor Saturday night in the Pink Meet against Nebraska, they sported different leotards to bring awareness to breast cancer.

Despite the new look, their results were the same — another narrow loss.

“We’re getting better each and every week,” interim head coach Jenny Hansen said after Minnesota fell by less than a point for the second consecutive match. “The kids are stepping up and getting more confident.”

The Gophers started the meet well, posting a 49.15 on the vault as junior Lindsay Mable led the team with a 9.9. Despite Mable’s success, the Huskers started strong and never looked back.

“Starting well gets the energy going for the rest of the meet, and we all picked up on that energy,” freshman Ciara Gardner said.

As Nebraska flew through the next two events, Minnesota struggled to keep up.

Going into the final event, the Gophers were behind and needed a strong finish on the floor to come out victorious.

Sophomore Kaitlin Rahon started the floor well, posting a 9.825, and Mable ended the meet scoring a meet-high 9.975 as the Gophers ended the floor with their event-high, 49.4.

The Huskers didn’t let up as they closed out the night with a 49.3 on the beam.

Mable posted a career-high all-around score as she took home her seventh consecutive all-around title with a 39.675. She set the new school all-around record.

Men falter at the high bar

Minnesota met Nebraska for the second consecutive week as Iowa hosted both teams Saturday.

Iowa had a successful night, placing first with a 435.4, while Minnesota was close behind in second at 433.6 and Nebraska finished third.

“I’m really proud of the team. The cards were stacked against us, but we had a season-high score on the road,” senior Steve Jaciuk said.

The Gophers started the meet well on pommel horse as senior Ellis Mannon scored an event-high 15.2.

Minnesota coasted for the first four events, but when it hit the high bar, it fell apart.

“The high bar cost us the meet, but we got guys coming back and we’re coming out with positive feelings,” head coach Mike Burns said.

The Gophers rebounded from their high bar performance and finished the meet strong on the vault, but it wasn’t enough to win.

Minnesota has a two-week break when select members of the team will compete in the Winter Cup in Las Vegas starting Thursday.

“We are bouncing back from adversity,” Jaciuk said. “We had some key falls, but after the falls we bounced back.”