Gymnasts edge past Temple, Nebraska

Luke Middendorf

Before the No. 8-ranked Minnesota men’s gymnastics squad’s first three-team home meet of the season with No. 9 Temple and No. 10 Nebraska, Gophers head coach Mike Burns said that it would come down to the last event.

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what: Men’s gymnastics
when: 7 p.m., Saturday
where: Norman, Okla.

Five events into Saturday’s meet, it looked like Minnesota was running away with the victory as it claimed nearly a nine-point lead over the closest competitor, Nebraska.

But after four of the Gophers’ six high-bar competitors fell off the bar during their routines on the final event, Burn’s pregame wisdom looked to be coming true.

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North carolina
what: Women’s gymnastics
when: 6 p.m., Friday
where: Sports Pavillion

“Going into the final event with almost a nine-point lead, I thought ‘this will be no problem,’ ” Burns said. “Turns out, it was a problem. That was a pitiful performance on high-bar tonight.”

Minnesota was not the only team, however, that struggled to hang on during its events. The overall lack of composure by each team allowed the slightly-more polished Gophers to come away with the meet victory, even though they scored their third lowest total of the season of 342.800.

“The high-bar was like the hamburger hill over there,” Burns said after the meet. “I was just glad that nobody got hurt tonight because there were some scary landings and scary falls.”

Although Burns said the finish did not go as he had planned, the five events before the rings enabled Minnesota to have enough of a lead to still edge out the victory.

The meet started well for the Gophers with a victory on the floor exercise, led by an individual high-score from sophomore Adam Reichow of 14.750.

“I’ve been struggling on floor this year, so it was nice to show everyone the level that I am able to compete at tonight,” Reichow said.

After solid performances on the pommel horse and still rings, Minnesota separated itself from the pack with a high score of 63.500 on the vault, led once again by the Gophers No. 1-ranked vault performer in the nation, Mitchell Mays, who scored a meet-high 16.450.

“We had some moments of brilliance tonight,” Burns said. “Vaulting was great. The whole team did great on vault. And floor exercise was great, and on rings we had five-out-of-six stuck dismounts, so that was great.”

Women shine in Iowa

With two meets in one weekend, Friday against No. 23 Iowa and a Sunday match-up with No. 30 Iowa State, the Minnesota women’s gymnastics team had a daunting task in front of them.

But the No. 27-ranked Gophers were more than able to hold their own with a season-high score of 194.725 in a close loss to Iowa, followed by topping their own season-high on Friday with a score of 194.950 in their win over Iowa State on Sunday.

“Our main goal this weekend was to go out and top our best-two scores from this season and we did that,” co-head coach Meg Stephenson said. “They now know that they can do well regardless of the situation; whether in front of 400 fans like on Friday or 2,000 like on Sunday, in the night or in the afternoon.”