Women get Big Ten win; men beat No. 10 Air Force

The women’s gymnastics team defeated Michigan State by just an .875 margin.

Joel Gagnon competes on the floor during the Gophers' meet against the Air Force on Jan. 21, 2017. The Gophers beat the Air Force 407.700- 395.350.

Maddy Fox

Joel Gagnon competes on the floor during the Gophers’ meet against the Air Force on Jan. 21, 2017. The Gophers beat the Air Force 407.700- 395.350.

Jack White

The gymnasts for the Gophers in the floor and the balance beam proved to be deciding factors for women’s gymnastics Friday.

No. 21 Minnesota wrapped up a dual in East Lansing, Michigan where it bested Michigan State in the final two events to defeat the Spartans 193.875-193.000 in East Lansing.

“We had a slow start again on the bars, which was disappointing,” said head coach Jenny Hansen. “I’m really proud of the team and how they responded.”

Minnesota led 96.200-96.100 with two rotations to go.

Junior Abby DeMuse competed for the first time this season after sitting out with an injury. DeMuse matched a career-best 9.825 in the beam to help the Gophers get the advantage over the Spartans.

“I felt really good about [the beam],” DeMuse said. “It was really a boost to my confidence to come out in my first meet of the season and nail the routine like I know I can.”

Minnesota senior Bailie Holst was co-champion in the floor event, which helped the Gophers edge the Spartans 48.875-48.800 in the event.

Michigan State’s Hailee Westney tied Holst for the highest average score with a 9.850 on uneven bars, but the Gophers fell 48.325-47.450.

Minnesota goes up against Ohio State at home in the next meet on Jan. 28 at home in the Sports Pavilion.

“We have got some really tough teams that we’re going to be competing against the next couple weeks,” Hansen said. “They really need to go into it being confident and believing in themselves.”

The No. 5 Minnesota men’s team needed junior Yaroslav Pochinka’s best to top No. 10 Air Force Saturday.

Pochinka posted a 15.100 in the vault, which earned him first place in the event to help Minnesota defeat Air Force 407.700-395.350.

Pochinka also finished third in the rings.

Minnesota won five of the six events in the dual against Air Force. The high bar, the final event in the meet, was the only time the Gophers had a worse score than the Falcons.

Captain Joel Gagnon finished with a 14.000 on parallel bars, earning him a second-place finish and a new personal best in that event.

Sophomore Vitali Kan finished as champion on the floor against Air Force. He earned a 14.100 for the first-place finish and the Gophers claimed the top four spots in the floor category.

Minnesota defeated Air Force in the pommel horse in a 67.950-67 race. Sophomore Justin Karstadt placed second in with a 14.250. Air Force’s Tim Wang led all gymnasts in the event with a 14.500.

Minnesota’s next dual is on the road against Illinois on Jan. 28.