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For Clairo, “the third time’s the Charm.”
Review: “Charm” by Clairo
Published July 21, 2024

Sports Pavilion a welcome sight for men and women gymnasts

Kristin Furukawa won the beam with a 9.925 last weekend, her career best score on the apparatus.

The 15th-ranked Gophers womenâÄôs gymnastics team will look to settle a score with No. 23 Iowa State this weekend in a rare Sunday meet at the Sports Pavilion.

The Cyclones outscored Minnesota both times the two teams met last season, including a narrow 196.225-195.300 victory March 20.

Minnesota comes in with a bit of momentum, having scored a 196.125 last weekend to win the Best of Minnesota meet. The Gophers hadnâÄôt surpassed 196 since the 2009 Big Ten championships.

In last weekendâÄôs four-team meet, senior captain Kristin Furukawa won both the balance beam and the uneven bars. Her beam score, 9.925, was good enough for a personal best and sixth all-time in Gophers history, something they could certainly use this weekend.

âÄúShe is spectacular at both of her events, so obviously itâÄôs thrilling to see her get out there and do what sheâÄôs capable of,âÄù coach Meg Stephenson said. âÄúAnd I do think it was definitely a big confidence boost for her.âÄù

The GophersâÄô team vault score also tied the fifth-best mark ever achieved by a Minnesota squad.

Entering this weekend, many of the Gophers gymnasts are among the nationâÄôs best. Freshman Kayla Slechta is ranked No. 22 on vault. Junior Lucy Ennis is tied for No. 8 on uneven bars, while sophomores Janell Campbell and Shannon Golich have emerged as consistent high scorers for Minnesota.

Also helping the Gophers, Stephenson said, is that SlechtaâÄôs fellow freshman Dusti Russell is set to return after missing time with an elbow injury.

âÄúI think youâÄôre going to see Dusti this weekend,âÄù the coach said. âÄúWeâÄôre hoping to have her back on balance beam, which would be great âĦ ThatâÄôll be really helpful, and then weâÄôre hoping that when we go to California [for the following two meets] weâÄôll get her in on floor [exercise] at least for one of those meets.âÄù

Before being sidelined, Russell was the teamâÄôs highest average scorer on the beam.

Freshman Justine Cherwink is also likely to make her first appearance of the year in an exhibition on the bars against Iowa State, Stephenson said. Cherwink tore her AchillesâÄô tendon in October.

Stephenson said she hopes to have Cherwink competing in the bars and the vault before the Big Ten championships, which start March 19.

Men host Air Force

The No. 9 menâÄôs gymnastics team has faced a ranked opponent every meet this season, but the road wonâÄôt get easier as the Gophers host No. 11 Air Force on Friday at the Sports Pavilion.

âÄúWe want to step up our game a little bit this weekend and put on a good show for our home fans,âÄù coach Mike Burns said.

The GophersâÄô last three meets were on the road, and this will be just their second home meet of the season.

The last time Minnesota and Air Force faced off was at a four-team meet in 2010, which the Gophers won.

âÄúAir Force is a pretty solid team this year and theyâÄôre improving weekly, so I think theyâÄôre going to be a formidable foe,âÄù Burns said, âÄúand our guys are going to have to be ready for them.âÄù

Last weekend at Iowa, sophomore Harris Coleman, who is ranked No. 13 in the country on the pommel horse, went down with a shoulder injury. âÄúMy guess is he probably wonâÄôt compete this weekend,âÄù said Burns, explaining that it will depend on the results of a magnetic resonance imaging test.

Burns said he will look to some of his younger gymnasts to pick up some of the slack, which they have done already.

After Coleman went down last week, freshman Justin Morinishi stepped in for him on the floor, posting a score of 13.6.

âÄúWhen he came in we knew he was a solid gymnast,âÄù Burns said, âÄúbut we werenâÄôt sure how much action he was going to see. HeâÄôs had opportunities that have been presented to him, and heâÄôs stepped up and really handled the pressure well.âÄù

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