Men’s gymnasts finish last at Big Ten Championships

by Michael Dougherty

Before the Gophers men’s gymnastics team headed off for the Big Ten Championships on March 21-22, head coach Fred Roethlisberger said that he hoped to finish in the top half of the Big Ten — something his team has done for 26 straight years.
However, the team didn’t perform as expected, as they finished last with a team score of 222.225. Iowa won the team competition with a score of 230.525.
Penn State took second (229.975) and two-time defending champion Ohio State grabbed third (228.0).
“I was extremely disappointed,” senior co-captain George Beatty said, “mostly with my personal performance. The cards didn’t fall in our favor like we had hoped.”
Despite the poor team performance, junior Jason Krob took sixth on the pommel horse. It was the third straight year he has finished in the top 10 in that event.
“It was one of the best routines that I performed this year, but the judges didn’t like it that much,” Krob said. “To tell you the truth, it made up for the day before, because I got a little higher score than I thought I deserved.”
Like Beatty, Krob was unhappy with the team’s overall effort.
“We’ve been working up to it (the Big Tens) the whole season and we’ve been progressing rather well,” Krob said. “We thought we had a good shot at finishing in the top half, but that obviously didn’t happen.”
Sophomore Lindsey Fang set a personal record in the all-around with a 56.475. His score was good enough for seventh place, and was highlighted by a career-high 9.575 on the horizontal bar.
Penn State junior Mike Dutka, who was unranked in the all-around, took first place with a 58.350. He won three individual event titles overall.
Beatty said that Roethlisberger was unhappy with the results, but that the coach was focused on sending gymnasts to regionals now.
Although the official regional rosters won’t be announced until Monday night, Beatty said he thinks he, Krob and Fang will all qualify for the meet.
Krob should qualify on the pommel horse, while Beatty will make it on both the pommel horse and parallel bars. Fang figures to make it in the all-around.
The regional meet will be held April 5 in Amherst, Mass.
Roethlisberger leads U.S. team
John Roethlisberger, a former Gophers star and son of head coach Fred Roethlisberger, tied two teammates, Blaine Wilson and Yewki Tomita, for the title on the pommel horse Friday at the International Team Championships in Knoxville, Tenn.
The United States defeated teams from China and Romania in the competition.