Upperclassmen trio leading Minnesota

The Gophers put up a season-high score of 197.225 at their last meet Sunday.

Senior Hanna Nordquist performs on the balance beam at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

Image by Maddy Fox, Daily File Photo

Senior Hanna Nordquist performs on the balance beam at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

by Thomas Jaakola

A trio of upperclassmen led the Gophers to a season-high score last weekend in Colorado, and now the three have turned their attention to the Big Ten Qualifier.
Junior Bailie Holst and seniors Hanna Nordquist and Lindsay Mable each scored a 9.950 in three different events on Sunday at Air Force, and Minnesota earned its ninth victory of the year with 197.225 points.
The team will hope to repeat its performance at the Big Ten Qualifier on Saturday at Penn State, especially Nordquist, who is now the Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week.
“It was amazing,” Nordquist said. “It’s always a great feeling running back to your team and knowing they always have your back. It was good not to let them down.”
Nordquist scored her 9.950 on the balance beam to win the individual title in the event on Sunday. The score tied her career high and ranks as the second-highest in school history.
Holst scored a 9.950 on the uneven bars on Sunday to win the event title, and her score was just off her program-record 9.975 she set against Ohio State on Jan. 30.
“Doing a routine that you feel proud of and then getting a score that reflects that makes you very proud. To do it for your team makes you feel great,” Holst said.
To improve this weekend, Holst said she is working on sticking her landing each time and hitting all of the handstands in her routine.
“That’s live or die,” Holst said.
The team’s third score of 9.950 came from Mable on the vault. The event score was the all-around gymnast’s best of the night.
“We all felt calm and relaxed, but when the scores came up, it was super exciting,” Mable said. “All of that put together really provided a successful environment for us to do what we did.”
Behind the three upperclassmen, No. 19 Minnesota is averaging a team score of 195.908 this season. The Gophers are the fourth-highest ranked team in the Big Ten, but their season-high of 197.225 is better than No. 18 Iowa’s.
“I think what we’re all expecting from each other is pretty much the same thing that happened last weekend,” Mable said. “[We’re just] going out there, enjoying ourselves, staying calm and relaxed and just doing what we know how to do every day in the gym because that’s going to create the best result.”