U men’s gymnastics team hopes to keep streak alive

Michael Dougherty

While it isn’t quite as notable a streak as Cal Ripken’s, Gophers men’s gymnastics coach Fred Roethlisberger has never had a squad finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten in his 26 years as coach of Minnesota.
Roethlisberger hopes his streak continues at this weekend’s Big Ten Championships.
The Gophers have overcome the loss of co-captain Bob Hubbard and two other scholarship athletes to injuries, and have gradually improved as the season has gone on.
Senior co-captain George Beatty is confident the team can continue Roethlisberger’s streak.
“I think it absolutely can happen,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t.”
Beatty, who is ranked in the top 10 on the pommel horse, is fighting through an injury himself — he has a stress fracture in his foot.
Despite the fact that he has been unable to perform on the vault the past couple of weeks because of the injury, he realizes his importance to the team.
“Well, this is the last meet I’ll ever have the opportunity to vault ever again, and the team really needs my score, so I’ll definitely be vaulting,” he said.
In Beatty’s freshman year, the Gophers won the Big Ten championship, and the last two years they have finished fourth.
This year’s meet will be held at Ann Arbor, Mich., a site where the Gophers set a season-high score in on Feb. 14. They topped that score last weekend against Illinois-Chicago.
That score against Michigan earlier gives the Gophers confidence that they can do well there again.
Junior Dan Boots set career highs on both the pommel horse and the parallel bars at Michigan and combines with Beatty and junior Jason Krob to form a strong pommel horse team that is ranked in the top five in the nation.
Sophomore Lindsey Fang is the top Gophers competitor in the all-around. He set career highs at the Big Ten Championships last year on the floor exercise, the pommel horse and the all-around.
The Gophers hosted the Big Ten championships last season, as Ohio State captured the title.