Gophers win second at NCAA Regional

The men’s team was third at the Big Ten Championships in Ohio this weekend.

Senior Lindsay Mable competes on the uneven bars at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Regional at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday. The Gophers placed second and will be advancing to the Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.

Maddy Fox

Senior Lindsay Mable competes on the uneven bars at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Regional at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday. The Gophers placed second and will be advancing to the Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.

Thomas Jaakola

The Gophers delivered for their home crowd for one last time on Saturday.
 
 
No. 16 Minnesota hosted the NCAA Regionals at the Sports Pavilion and placed second to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2013.
 
 
Florida won the event with a score of 196.725 to advance as well, while Minnesota scored 196.175 points. No. 20 Missouri finished third with a 195.850, No. 11 Denver placed fourth and Ohio State and BYU took fifth and sixth, respectively.
 
 
“It’s indescribable. It’s something we’ve worked for all year,” senior Lindsay Mable said. “To see it come to fruition is just so special in this place with all the fans that were behind us the whole time and this whole season. It’s really a special thing.”
 
 
Mable won the Gophers only individual title of the night, tying for first on the uneven bars with a score of 9.875.
 
 
“[Mable] had a very uncharacteristic mistake on floor, but she came back on the next three events and just nailed each one of them, and that’s what we needed from her,” head coach Jenny Hansen said.
 
 
The Gophers did not win any events as a team but took second on the balance beam, tied for second on the vault and uneven bars and placed fourth on the floor.
 
 
Minnesota also received a strong performance from junior Bailey Abernathy, who scored the most points on the team on her two events: the floor and the vault.
 
 
“[Abernathy] couldn’t have done much better. She was just on [Saturday]. That was just awesome for her,” Hansen said.
 
 
Mable and senior Hanna Nordquist closed out the meet for the Gophers on the beam, both needing strong scores to keep the team ahead of Missouri.
 
 
Each of them scored a 9.925 in the event to keep the Gophers season alive.
 
 
“This was our goal right from the start. We knew were capable of it. They believed in themselves right from the start, and to get here is an incredible feeling,” Hansen said.
 
 
Gophers place third at championships
 
 
The No. 4 Gophers came up two spots short of their first Big Ten title since 1995.
 
 
Minnesota finished third with a team score of 429.100 at the Big Ten Championships on Friday in Columbus, Ohio, the team’s best finish at the event since 2013.
 
 
Ohio State finished first with a score of 434.450, and Illinois took second with a 429.700.
 
 
Junior Zach Liebler, the top-ranked gymnast on the floor exercise, dealt with an illness during the week and scored a 13.300 in his best event.
 
 
“It was a little less then what we were hoping for. We had some tough situations going into the meet, with Zach Liebler; he was sick all week,” head coach Mike Burns said.
 
 
“He didn’t have any training all week. It was unfortunate timing for sure. He’s such a huge part of our team dynamic.”
 
 
The Gophers finished with two gymnasts on the All-Big Ten first team with sophomore Tristan Duran and freshman Justin Karstadt.
 
 
Duran placed third in the all-around with a score of 86.900, while Karstadt placed fifth in the same event with an 85.950.
 
 
Senior Danny DiBenedetto was selected to the second team after placing third on the high bar with a score of 14.525.
 
 
Minnesota had 12 routines advance to individual event finals in total, the most of any school.
 
 
Sophomore Ryan Bergman finished fourth on the parallel bars with a score of 15.100.
 
 
The Gophers only other top-five finish came from sophomore Jalon Stephens, who placed fifth in the high bar with a 14.450.
 
 
“We didn’t come away with any champions, which was a little disappointing. But at that point, you’re up against some of the best gymnasts in the country, and our guys held their own,” Burns said.