Men’s team wins, women’s team loses to Arizona

Freshman Andre Berry won his second straight all-around championship.

by Mark Heise

The successful trend for the Minnesota men’s gymnastics team continued this weekend, as the seventh-ranked Gophers overpowered No. 8 Iowa on the road Sunday, picking up the 206-201.5 win.

Minnesota dispelled any thoughts of struggling away from home, winning its third straight meet to remain undefeated in dual meets this season.

Despite the strong outcome, not everything went smoothly for the Gophers.

Minnesota struggled through the first rotation, dropping below the 32-point mark on the pommel horse. After two events, the Gophers trailed by five-tenths of a point.

“The beginning of the meet was kind of like trying to start a car during a Minnesota winter,” coach Mike Burns said afterward. “It took a while to get going. But we stuck with it, didn’t get discouraged and we moved forward.”

Minnesota made a statement on the vault, posting a score of 35. Freshman Cole Storer recorded a 9.05 to place first, while junior Mitchell Mays cart-wheeled onto the horse and executed a double back flip in the tuck position. Mays just missed sticking the landing and finished second in the event with an 8.95.

“Vault is where we got the momentum going again,” freshman all-arounder Andre Berry said. “We had a couple of guys go out and just nail their vaults and it got our spirits back up.”

The still rings were expected to be a challenge for the Gophers, as one of their top performers, senior Jacob Lee, was out of the lineup.

But Minnesota stepped up to the challenge, sticking three of its five dismounts to post a strong 35.6 without Lee. Mays led the team with a 9.25, finishing second in the event.

The Gophers put away Iowa on the horizontal bar, as freshman Aaron Fortunato, junior Steven Vuong and Storer swept the event, taking first, second and third, respectively.

For Fortunato, it was his second straight win in the event as he finished with a score of 8.95 to lead Minnesota to a team score of 34.55.

In the all-around, Berry took the title for the second straight week, posting a score of 49.15 to help send the Gophers to their third straight win.

With the improvement shown early in the season, and the potential seen in practice, senior Kyle True expressed confidence in the direction his team was heading.

“We just have to put everything together at the right time and we’ll definitely be a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “We just have to focus on staying healthy and hitting our routines and we’ll be a contender.”

Successful weekend for women

The Gophers performed very well in Arizona on Saturday, grabbing a season-high score of 195.125, despite losing to No.15 Arizona which posted a 195.4.

Junior Angela Walker led Minnesota to a season-best score of 48.9 on the bars, finishing with a 9.85.

The Gophers also tied their season-high totals on both the balance beam and the floor exercises, finishing with 48.825 and 48.925, respectively.

Junior Ashley Stanton won the beam event with a score of 9.875, while sophomore Carmelina Carabajal and junior Amanda Miles each scored 9.825 on the floor to lead Minnesota.