Men’s team rolls over Badgers’ club team

Matt Perkins

Minnesota’s men’s gymnastics team put together its highest team score at home this season, with season-best performances from not-so-familiar faces.

Senior Justin Meyer competed in the all-around for the first time in his career, tallying a 50.750 to lead the way for the Gophers against Wisconsin’s club team Saturday night at the Sports Pavilion.

But the focus of the 933 fans in attendance was on the still rings, as all five of the Gophers competitors in the event received career-best marks.

“This builds a lot of confidence for us heading into the next few meets,” Meyer said. “It’s important to have something to build off down the stretch.”

Heading into the weekend, Minnesota planned on giving some athletes, like senior Jacob Lee, a bit of a rest while giving some other guys opportunities.

And they executed the plan to perfection.

On rings, the Gophers put together their second-highest team score of the season, as Meyer, Mitchell Mays, Steven Vuong, Edward Campbell and Alex Quast scored career-bests in the event.

In one of his only two events, typical all-arounder Lee scored the team’s highest score on the pommel horse although he still had his stumbles.

“You know he did well, and he still fell off,” coach Mike Burns said. “He has one of the most difficult routines you’ll see, so it’s just a matter of working with it a bit.”

Meyer was another Gopher who was looking to work on all his routines, including his first career performance on vault.

Meyer posted an 8.400 in his first appearance on vault and set season bests on rings and parallel bars, while posting a career-best 8.550 on high bar.

His performance was good enough to spark talks of a repeat performance in the all-around.

“Coach Burns was saying, ‘Maybe you should think about being an all-arounder for the next few events,’ ” Meyer said. “And I’m like, ‘That’s great, can’t wait.’ “

Women drop two in Iowa

Minnesota’s women’s gymnastics team scored a season-best 195.175 against Iowa State in a losing effort Friday night, only to top the performance with a winning score of 195.750 against Iowa on Sunday.

Senior Laura Johnson lead the way once again for the Gophers as the team’s top all-around performer in both meets.

Johnson put together her best all-around score of the season with a 39.275 against Iowa State, good for second place.

Johnson tied a season-best with a 9.850 on vault Friday night and then established a new season-best mark of 9.900 Sunday.

But it took every Gopher hitting their routines to establish the top two team scores of the season in one weekend.

“We had a lot of fun against Iowa State and took that into Iowa,” sophomore Ashley Stanton said. “We started right away with everyone hitting, so that was a confidence-booster.”