Repairs don’t equal victory for Gophers

by Susan Filkins

Although the No. 17-ranked Gophers men’s gymnastics team didn’t walk away from a meet at No. 8 Iowa with a victory, it at least went home improved.
Minnesota increased its team score by more than 12 points after a dismal outing at the Windy City Invitational two weeks ago, but still lost 229.625 to 223.875. Despite the team’s improvement, Gophers coach Fred Roethlisberger is still not content with its performance.
“I think they felt they improved, but I don’t know if anybody feels satisfied,” Roethlisberger said. “A few guys did what they should do, and I am sure they are frustrated with their teammates.”
One of the guys Roethlisberger spoke of is senior co-captain Frank Ticknor, winner of the all-around event with a personal-best score of 57.0. Ticknor finished third on the floor exercise and tied for second on pommel horse.
“I had a pretty good meet,” Ticknor said. “I wasn’t great, but I was pretty good. I don’t want to think about that because we still lost by almost six points, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Finishing second on the team in the all-around scoring was freshman Lindsey Fang with a 54.65 and third was junior George Beatty with a 44.80.
The top finisher in the individual events was sophomore Jason Krob, who scored a career-high 9.825. Also finishing near the top in the individual events was senior Heath Wall (tied for second on the horizontal bar) and Fang (third place on the vault).
Minnesota, however, was hampered by injuries. Junior Bob Hubbard competed only on the parallel bars and pommel horse after bruising his heel during an accident in practice. He usually works all events for the Gophers. Hubbard’s inability to compete affected the team score.
Junior George Beatty is also counted on for points. Beatty had several miscues in his routines, for which he is searching to find explanations.
“I really don’t know,” Beatty said. “It is something I am trying to figure out. Lack of aggressiveness probably.”
Another reason for the outcome of the meet lies in Iowa’s depth and ability to work gymnasts only on certain events instead of relying on a few leaders.
“They are pretty solid, but I think we probably have some better athletes than they do,” Roethlisberger said. “They may have more experience, but we should be beating them.”