No. 6 Gophers upset No. 2 Penn State

Minnesota won on the road by less than two points.

Freshman gymnast Shane Wiskus performs on the pommel horse during a meet on Jan. 27, 2018 at Maturi Pavilion. 

Max Ostenso, Daily File Photo

Freshman gymnast Shane Wiskus performs on the pommel horse during a meet on Jan. 27, 2018 at Maturi Pavilion. 

Erik Nelson

All but three of Minnesota’s gymnasts had time to prepare for a matchup against No 2. Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, with the team’s last meet Feb. 10.

The Gophers looked well rested and grabbed an upset on the road as a result. Minnesota defeated Penn State by a final score of 404.250-402.300 on Saturday.

“This was a great moment for Gopher gymnastics,” head coach Mike Burns said. “Penn State’s always a tough opponent, especially here in Happy Valley.”

Freshman Shane Wiskus finished first in floor, tying his career high with a score of 14.700. On vault, Wiskus tied for first with a score of 14.600.

The Gophers tied a season high score with a 68.050 on pommel horse. Junior Justin Karstadt finished first with a score of 14.350. Senior Tristan Duran won the high-bar title with a score of 13.900. 

Three freshmen competed for Minnesota in still rings. Wiskus had the best score of any Minnesota gymnast in the event — 13.650. 

Minnesota’s last event of the meet was parallel bars. Junior Shaun Herzog won the event with 13.750. 

Burns said his team persevered through a series of setbacks.

“We had a number of them today,” Burns said. “It was a little challenging in the middle of the meet, but we got to the last event. We stepped up. We kept putting pressure on Penn State. It’s all about finding a way.”

Seniors Joel Gagnon and Jalon Stephens did not compete for Minnesota. Stephens competed at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas Feb. 15 and 17. 

Minnesota’s next meet will be in Chicago on Sunday against University of the Illinois-Chicago at 2 p.m on March 4. The Gophers next home meet will be on March 18 against University of California, Berkeley, which starts at 12:30 p.m.

Burns said he will rest a few gymnasts for Minnesota’s next meet. Duran, Herzog, Stephens and Wiskus all competed in the Winter Cup, then competed against Illinois, except for Stephens, who only competed in the Winter Cup.

“We’re going to try and get some guys who haven’t had a chance to compete a chance,” Burns said. “The guys that did the Winter Cup are going to get a significant rest this week.”