U gymnasts fall to Spartans

David La

The call-to-arms for the Gophers men’s gymnastics team has been sounded, though the expectations are modest.
Minnesota’s mantra this season has been respectability — put together a team of whoever is healthy and have a go at it.
The lineup Tuesday night at the Sports Pavilion included a meet with No. 7 Michigan State, injuries and the bittersweet farewells of senior captains Jason Krob and Dan Boots.
The Spartans got the better of the Gophers, 225.65-217.6, but Minnesota coach Fred Roethlisberger didn’t seem overly disappointed by the results.
“We’ve lost too much that’s not coming back to really be much of a contender this year,” Roethlisberger said of his team’s humble goals.
The war might seem unwinnable, but the battle for pride went on against the Spartans.
Junior Chad Conner won the all-around, giving him the Gophers’ only win in any event. Freshman Todd Guilbeau turned in a respectable performance in four events despite a sore ankle.
While the aforementioned gymnasts are enduring another winless season, two athletes who performed in their last home meet Tuesday have been symbols of endurance of all kinds for four years.
“It was really extra special to me because my parents made it up (from St. Charles, Mo.) and they got to see my last home meet,” Krob said.
“I’m really glad that I finished up at home on a good note,” said Boots, who competed but failed to place in three events.
The recurring theme as the teammates summed up their career in Minnesota was one of pride and satisfaction, mixed in with a feeling that it is indeed time to move on.
“Coming up from Missouri, I wasn’t recruited by any colleges,” Krob said. “For Fred to give me the chance to compete my whole four years, it’s really meant a lot to me.”
“When I have to ice five parts of my body when I’m done practicing, it’s kind of like, well … ,” Boots said. “But there’s not a minute I’d change or do differently. It’s been golden.”
“How cheesy is that?” Krobs responded to Boots’ innocent pun.
It may seem that the laughs between the two shouldn’t come easy, considering the injury that kept Boots out of competition last season, and the three seasons in which Minnesota fell short of a .500 record.