Men’s gymnasts score low, win

by Susan Filkins

With only two home meets scheduled this season, the Gophers men’s gymnastics team was counting on a victory Saturday in their home gym. The No. 10 Gophers did just that by defeating No. 4 Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan at the Sports Pavilion.
For a first place finish, Minnesota scored a somewhat disappointing 222.10 in beating the Spartans (218.80) and Wolverines (214.70).
As big as the win was, the Gophers did not feel they matched their expectations.
“We have been really psyched up this whole week,” senior co-captain Heath Wall said. “We should have scored five points better than we did. It was kind of a downer.”
The Gophers possess the capability to score much higher. Two weeks ago, Minnesota scored almost two points higher in a dual meet with Iowa.
“I think that with other judges, we might have scored a 226,” Gophers coach Fred Roethlisberger said.
Judging can only be blamed so much. Miscues and inconsistent performances are the main reason for the team’s low score.
Junior George Beatty, one of Minnesota’s top performers, suffered from incomplete routines on several events. This hindered his individual scores and weighed down the Gophers’ team score.
“George can certainly help us a lot,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s two weeks in a row that he’s had terrible meets. He needs to figure out how to do that because I am at a loss.”
There were several bright spots for Minnesota. Wall took first place on the still rings with a 9.7 and he also tied with La Lo Haro for first place on the parallel bars with a 9.4. Sophomore Jason Krob won the pommel horse event with a 9.7.
The meet was also a big day for sophomore Dan Boots. Boots has been filling in for some of his teammates who are unable to compete in certain events due to injuries.
Boots scored a career-high on the still rings with 9.55, placing him second behind Wall. He also finished with a career-best on the horizontal bar with a 9.45.
“It felt really, really good,” Boots said. “Last year I only did a couple of events all season, and this year with some injuries that some guys have, they have been putting me in some events.”
While Boots made a big impression, Haro, a Michigan sophomore, was the meet’s top all-around gymnast.
Haro, a native of Mexico, took first place on the floor exercise, vault, and parallel bars. He is a three-time Mexico national all-around champion competing in his first season with the Wolverines.
Following Haro in the all-around was Minnesota’s Frank Ticknor, and third place went to Gophers freshman Lindsey Fang.
Despite their low score, the Gophers were pleased.
“It’s kind of disappointing getting judged so hard especially when you are at home,” Boots said. “But we’ll just go on to the next meet and hopefully we will keep the momentum with us.”