Seniors set to compete for final time at Sports Pavilion

The Gophers host Iowa on senior night Saturday at 6. It is also the final home meet for the women this season. The women look to finish strong with a score in the 196 range, a goal that has been with the team all season. IowaâÄôs high score is 196.525 âÄî significantly higher than MinnesotaâÄôs season high of a 195.850. âÄúIt would be very nice to conclude the year with that, especially on a night when the seniors are going to be performing for their last time at the Pavilion,âÄù co-head coach Jim Stephenson said. Stephenson said the three outstanding gymnasts will be remembered for their beautiful gymnastics, their mature attitudes and perhaps most importantly, helping to build a new and exciting precedent in GophersâÄô gymnastics. They have been everything the coaches had asked for. âÄúThey became everything we dreamed they would become. TheyâÄôre contribution to the team and to the program has [been] met with our greatest expectations,âÄù Stephenson said. Captain Carmelina Carabajal, and teammates Angela Walker and Jade Beattie, have been a part of the team since MinnesotaâÄôs historic Big Ten championship in 2006. Carabajal and Beattie were freshmen, Walker a sophomore . Stephenson feels like it was only last summer he was recruiting all three gymnasts. Carabajal has previously represented the Gophers at the NCAA championships and has put herself into the Minnesota gymnastics history books with 25 event titles and nine all around titles since her junior year. This year, the senior captain has 10 event titles and five all around victories. Carabajal is praised for her leadership, which she often displays through the example she sets on and off the mat. âÄúI love watching her compete because I just know, I know itâÄôs going to be a good routine when she goes up,âÄù Beattie said. Beattie and Walker have been just as essential as Carabajal to the team. Walker, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon that effectively ended her career just under a month ago, has stayed committed to her team and teammates. âÄúSheâÄôs someone who has pushed back from each of those set-backs, and had so many obstacles, but still has achieved so much in her career,âÄù Beattie said. Men headed to Lincoln In their second to last meet of the regular season, Minnesota menâÄôs gymnastics looks to make another step towards the Big Ten championships three weeks away. The Gophers travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on a fast-rising Nebraska team and one of the best club teams in the country, Arizona State. Head coach Mike Burns doesnâÄôt underestimate the competition, but thinks his team is ready for another solid performance and an even higher team score. âÄúI think our guys are ready to do some damage again this week,âÄù Burns said. Next week Minnesota hosts Illinois in their last meet of the season . ItâÄôs just one more opportunity to polish up and clean up. âÄúWeâÄôve got two great opportunities staring us in the face here, so I hope as a team we take advantage of it and do finish the season strong,âÄù Burns said.