Gophers defeat Iowa in home opener

Shane Wiskus won the all-around title.

Shaun Herzog competes on the high bar during the Gophers' meet against the Air Force on Jan. 21, 2017. The Gophers beat the Air Force 407.700 to 395.350.

Maddy Fox

Shaun Herzog competes on the high bar during the Gophers’ meet against the Air Force on Jan. 21, 2017. The Gophers beat the Air Force 407.700 to 395.350.

Erik Nelson

After he shined on the road, freshman Shane Wiskus made a positive first impression at the Gophers’ home opener.

Wiskus won the all-around title for the second consecutive meet in Minnesota’s home opener against Iowa. His overall score was 82.550. Wiskus said he felt amazing competing in front of Minnesota fans for the first time.

“The energy that comes along with a college meet is second to none,” Wiskus said.

Minnesota defeated Iowa 405.900-395.450. The Gophers finished first in every event except pommel horse. 

Junior Vitali Kan finished first on the floor, receiving a score of 13.950. Junior Shaun Herzog earned a score of 69.150 on his events.

“I felt a lot of confidence coming in,” Herzog said. “We knew we were going to win. We let that ball roll and kept going the whole night.”

Minnesota’s best event was vault. The team score was 70.600. Junior Alex Wittenberg finished first with a score of 14.600.

Wiskus and Herzog tied for first in the parallel bars exercise. Both received scores of 13.950. Senior Tristan Duran finished first in the high bars exercise, receiving a score of 14.000.

“Shaun’s a huge part of our team,” Wiskus said. “On every event, he’s one of our top scorers that we have.”

In the pommel horse event, Minnesota finished in second place, earning a score of 65.200. Kan tied for first place with Iowa’s Kevin Johnson. Both earned a score of 13.750.

Head coach Mike Burns said if his team had a bad routine, they would make up their mistakes in another one. 

“The best thing was when we had a little hiccup in our performance, we were able to get back on track,” Burns said. 

Burns said he appreciated the energy from the fans.

“It’s good to see that kind of enthusiasm for the program,” he said. “It’s an energy flow from the crowd to the team. That’s a hard thing when you go on the road because you don’t have that. You’ve got to create it yourself.”

Minnesota’s next meet will be against Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Saturday.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled a name of one of the gymnasts. The correct spelling is Shaun Herzog.