Mays, Dmitriev shine at intrasquad

Sergei Dmitriev won the all-around title while Mitchell Mays dominated the vault.

Luke Middendorf

The Gophers men’s gymnastics team got off to a high-flying start Sunday afternoon during their annual intrasquad meet in the Sports Pavilion.

Many of the die-hard Minnesota gymnastics fans braved the weekend storm to come out and support the 2007 squad, and the gymnasts did not disappoint.

“These guys work their butts off in the gym every day,” head coach Mike Burns said about his team. “It’s always nice to get out, and today we had a nice crowd.”

The most notable moment of the event was senior Mitchell Mays’ successful completion of the “hardest vault done in the world,” according to sophomore Adam Reichow.

“It’s ridiculous,” Reichow said of the Mays’ vault, a suka-hara double pike, which includes two flips in the air and a stiff-legged landing.

Mays scored a 15.8 on the vault, far and away the highest score of the day for any Gophers gymnast and enough to earn him an award for the best performance of the day.

“Just standing up after that vault during the first intrasquad of the year feels great,” Mays said with a smile.

Burns split the gymnasts into two teams for the intrasquad meet, maroon and gold, and allowed them to compete head-to head for the highest total score.

The maroon team totaled the highest score with a 250.9, and senior Sergei Dmitriev won the all-around title with an 83.7.

While many of Minnesota’s gymnasts showed off their dazzling moves and off-season improvements on Sunday, Burns said the team still has a lot to work on before their first real competition in six weeks.

“It’s a real honest evaluation of where we are at,” Burns said. “We’ve got a ways to go, but these guys will be working hard to get there.”

Although Mays said he was happy with his vault performance, he also said a lot of improvement was needed in the rest of his and the team’s events.

“It definitely tells us where we are and where we want to be,” Mays said.