Minnesota falls short of championship round

The Minnesota menâÄôs gymnastics team entered its final rotation Thursday night at the Sports Pavilion, trailing Ohio State by less than two points for one of three spots in FridayâÄôs NCAA championship session, but the Buckeyes performance on the pommel horse was too much for the seventh-ranked Gophers to overcome on the parallel bars. âÄúThatâÄôs what we prepared for; we knew it was going to come down to that,âÄù Ohio State coach Miles Avery said. âÄúWe knew we had to hit on the pommel horse right then and there.âÄù Ohio State recorded a 57.55 on the pommel horse , its highest score of the season in that event at the time (the Buckeyes would top that mark Friday night in the championship session ). âÄúWe knew we could [win], but we also knew Ohio State was going to have to help us out,âÄù Gophers coach Mike Burns said. âÄúThey helped themselves out more than we helped ourselves out.âÄù Minnesota was only able to register a 55.65 on the parallel bars, its third-lowest score of the season in that event . Despite that, Minnesota still put up its second-highest team score of the season with a 351.05. The GophersâÄô season high is a 353.3 from a matchup against Nebraska and Arizona State in March. âÄúWe came up a little bit short, but overall it was a pretty darn good performance,âÄù Burns said. âÄúAt this level, âÄòdarn goodâÄô isnâÄôt good enough; you have to be really darn good.âÄù Minnesota also put up season highs in both the vault and rings events with scores of 63.1 and 58.6, respectively. âÄúWe had great pommel horse and great rings and we went six-for-six on sticks on the rings for the first time all year,âÄù Burns said. The loss was the second time this month the Buckeyes defeated the Gophers. Ohio State took third place at the Big Ten championships earlier this month while Minnesota finished fourth. âÄú[Ohio State] was the first team that we congratulated because they had a great meet,âÄù Gophers junior Adam Reichow said. âÄúThey put up a championship routine, and thatâÄôs what you need to do.âÄù The Buckeyes, along with Oklahoma and Illinois, advanced from the GophersâÄô session to FridayâÄôs championships . Stanford âÄî which was one of three teams that advanced from the first Thursday session âÄî went on to win the championship Friday night, however. Minnesota missed being a part of that championship session for the second consecutive year. The Gophers also came in fourth âÄî one spot away from advancing âÄî in last seasonâÄôs qualifying session . âÄúThey trained all year for this moment; to make it to the next day,âÄù Burns said. âÄúIf they werenâÄôt a little disappointed, IâÄôd be upset. They should be disappointed, and now they have to use that emotion as fuel for what they want to do.âÄù MinnesotaâÄôs Kit Beikmann and DJ Repp did get to continue competing throughout the entire weekend, however. Both posted scores good enough to advance to SaturdayâÄôs individual championships. Beikmann finished fifth in the pommel horse Saturday with a score of 15.325 and Repp scored a 15.85 to finish sixth in the vault. Both received All-American honors for their scores.