Gophers have quick turnaround

The women’s team will compete in two meets over the weekend.

by Brad Bobel

Facing an opponent twice in a season is tough, but adding another meet on top of that — just two days later — is tougher.

Minnesota, which beat Iowa State earlier in the season, will travel to Ames, Iowa, on Friday.

Two days later, the Gophers will compete in the Best of Minnesota/Always Dreaming meet.

“We have two meets next weekend, so it’s going to be a challenge for us,” interim head coach Jenny Hansen said on Saturday. “It’s [about] continuing doing what we’re doing. We’re pressing home on the little things, and it’s paying off.”

Best of Minnesota/Always Dreaming, named after Frank Kara who worked as the director of compliance for Minnesota’s athletic department, is an annual cancer awareness and fundraising event. In 2007, he died of cancer.

The Gophers have lost their last two meets in close fashion, and to be successful this weekend, multiple gymnasts said the team needs to improve on the little things.

“The small details [like] hitting those handstands, finishing tall and sticking the landings —  those things make a really big difference between the winning and losing score,” junior Lindsay Mable said on Saturday.

In addition to that, Hansen said the Gophers need to be consistent.

“We do the same things every week. There really is no defense in gymnastics. We are only in control of what we can do,” Hansen said.

Ellis Mannon represents Minnesota

While the rest of the men’s team has the weekend off, senior Ellis Mannon will represent Minnesota in the Winter Cup this weekend.

The Winter Cup in Las Vegas will help narrow down the current roster for the U.S. men’s senior national team.

The current members of the 2014 World Championships squad and the team’s alternate will keep their spots on the team, leaving eight spots available for the taking.

At last year’s Winter Cup, Mannon and then-junior Steve Jaciuk represented Minnesota. Mannon finished second overall on the pommel horse.

Mannon’s overall score earned him 19th overall at the meet, as both Jaciuk and he advanced to the second day by finishing in the top 42 overall.

Following the Winter Cup, the Gophers will travel to California to compete against Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, Japan and Canada at the end of the month.