Minnesota places third in the Big Ten

Lindsay Mable was named the Big Ten’s gymnast of the year for the second time.

Senior Lindsay Mable performs on the uneven bars at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

Image by Maddy Fox

Senior Lindsay Mable performs on the uneven bars at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

by Thomas Jaakola

The Gophers finished third at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb., a large improvement on the team’s sixth-place finish last year.
Michigan took first with 197.125 points. Nebraska came in second with 196.900 points, and Minnesota scored 196.575 points.
“We’re really pleased with the way the team performed,” head coach Jenny Hansen said. “We weren’t quite as consistent as we had hoped, but we came away with a good score [and] a top-three finish at the Big Ten Championships. We’re really proud of that.”
Senior Lindsay Mable won the Big Ten All-Around title for the second time in her career and was also named the conference’s gymnast of the year for the second time.
Mable scored 39.650 points in the all-around to win the event title and tied for first on the balance beam and floor exercise. She also tied for third on the uneven bars.
“I’m super humbled and honored to be named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year,” Mable said. “It’s a huge honor to be named that for anyone, and I know there’s a lot of amazing competitors in the Big Ten, and to get that award is really special to me.”
Hansen was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in her second year in charge of the program. She served as the team’s interim head coach in 2014-15 and was promoted on April 8.
“It was kind of surreal. We’ve had such a wonderful year,” Hansen said. “We have a great coaching staff, and the team’s just done everything we’ve asked. And it’s just kind of icing on the cake. It’s pretty special.”
Minnesota was consistent in every event and stayed near the top of the leaderboard throughout. The Gophers took third on floor, tied for third on beam and took fourth on the vault and in bars.
Men defeat Iowa and Nebraska
The Gophers recorded the second-highest score on the floor and third-highest score on the parallel bars in team history to earn their fifth victory of the season on Sunday.
No. 4 Minnesota defeated No. 6 Iowa and No. 7 Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., with a score of 433.850. The Hawkeyes and Huskers both scored 432.450 points.
“Those two events really sealed the deal for us,” head coach Mike Burns said.
The Gophers finished with a team score of 75.800 on the floor, and junior Zach Liebler’s first-place routine scored a 15.800. 
“It was a great effort; Zach Liebler did a phenomenal job and anchored the group,” Burns said. “Everybody stepped up. We talked about this in our team meeting before the meet about how we’re going to start the ball rolling and add some momentum in each subsequent routine, and that’s what we did on floor. And then it was just a matter of riding that wave after that.”
On the parallel bars, the team scored a 73.750, and senior Paul Montague Jr. won the event with a 15.250. The senior had the Gophers’ highest score on three separate events including parallel bars. He won the still rings with a 15.050 and scored a 14.650 on the pommel horse.
“It went right down to the last guy, Paul Montague on high bar. He had to hit for us to win, and he did a great job and stuck a dismount,” Burns said. “It was a really great effort by Paul, and he took this team on his shoulders and took us to victory.”