Gophers men, women place second

Junior Lindsay Mable won her 10 consecutive all-around crown.

Senior Cierra Tomson performs on the bars on Saturday evening at the Sports Pavillon against New Hampshire and Iowa.

Liam James Doyle

Senior Cierra Tomson performs on the bars on Saturday evening at the Sports Pavillon against New Hampshire and Iowa.

Brad Bobel

Emotions were high Saturday night when Minnesota honored seniors Jenny Covers and Cierra Tomson at the end of the meet.

Their families looked on as Minnesota finished second, scoring 194.725. Iowa took the crown posting a 195.000, and New Hampshire rounded out the trio in last place.

“Lots of emotions going on. It’s really cool to have so much family here to support the both of us [seniors],” Tomson said. “It was cool to compete as a senior and get recognized [tonight].”

The Gophers came out swinging, taking an early lead after one event with junior Lindsay Mable scoring a 9.9 on vault.

After claiming the top spot in the all-around national rankings, Mable continued her tear as she finished with three event titles as well as her 10th consecutive all-around title.

Mable continued her success into the uneven bars, where she posted another 9.9, but the team struggled as it fell twice.

“We had a couple mistakes that were uncharacteristic and unfortunately set us back a little,” interim head coach Jenny Hansen said.

The Gophers finished the night scoring a meet-high 49.325 on the floor, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Iowa’s lead.

The last three Gophers gymnasts posted a 9.9 or higher on the floor, with Mable leading all teams with a 9.95.

“We said we had nothing to lose, [floor] is one of our best events, and if we just do what we know how to, it will go in our favor,” Mable said.

Men finish second in Collegiate Challenge

Two national teams and three top-ranked collegiate programs collided this weekend, as Minnesota participated in the Collegiate Challenge in California.

The Gophers finished second, scoring 431.650, and host Stanford took the title.

The Japanese national team had the highest score of the night with 445.250, but Japan wasn’t part of the challenge — the two national teams were there for an exhibition meet.

“It was a great experience, especially before the [postseason] starts,” head coach Mike Burns said.

Minnesota found itself behind after the first rotation, despite senior Ellis Mannon’s 15.35 and junior Paul Montague’s 14.8 on the pommel horse.

“Once he got that first hit under his belt two weeks ago, [Mannon] knows he can do it now,” Burns said.

The Gophers moved onto the rings, sticking all five landings, and two gymnasts scored above a 15. Redshirt junior Jack Metcalf posted a personal record of 15.5 on the rings, and senior Steve Jaciuk was close behind at a 15.1.

Freshman Yaroslav Pochinka saw his first collegiate action Saturday and notched a team-high 15.15 on the vault

“It has been long road back from injury, but he’s one of the best vaulters on the team,” Burns said. “[Pochinka’s performance] was a real spark for the team.”

Minnesota finished the meet strong on the floor with senior Sean Bauer and sophomore Zach Liebler each posting a 15 to end the night.

“I mentioned to the team that I was proud of them [tonight], but we need to go into the gym with a chip on our shoulder,” Jaciuk said. “We need to push sets, execution and minimize mistakes at this point.”