U gymnasts fall to last place

David La

The Big Ten championships for men’s gymnastics is almost a misnomer, in that only seven schools compete. So to report that Minnesota finished in seventh place is merely a gentler way to note they finished last.
Michigan won the championship for the first time since 1975 with a score of 230.275, joining the school’s women’s program as winner of the Big Ten gymnastics title in 1999.
For Minnesota, the trip to Iowa City this weekend yielded a team score of 217.225 and two stand-out performances: senior Jason Krob on the pommel horse and freshman Todd Guilbeau on the horizontal bar. Both competed in the individual finals on Saturday, with Krob finishing fourth and Guilbeau third.
“We all knew this year was going to be tough,” Krob said, “especially with the caliber of the teams in the Big Ten this year.”
Minnesota began the meet struggling on the parallel and high bars. But after a bye on the third rotation, the Gophers came back to turn in four solid events.
The pinnacle of the Gophers’ event scoring was the pommel horse, in which Minnesota posted its highest score of the meet with a 38.250.
“We had problems with the first two events,” Krob said. “To see them rebound like they did does the whole group proud.”
Pride will be on the line again on Apr. 10 when the Gophers travel to Champaign, Ill., to compete in the NCAA East Regional.
Minnesota can still send individual performers to the NCAA championships. Although the team did not win a Big Ten meet last season, 11 athletes advanced to national competition, eight of whom returned this season.
With aspirations for competing at the NCAA level on their minds, the Gophers return to practice this week in hopes of wrapping up the season much like they did in this weekend’s meet: a slow start with an improved finish.

Big Ten Men’s
Gymnastics Championships
Team Order of Finish

1. Michigan 230.275
2. Iowa 229.475
3. Ohio Sate 229.250
4. Penn State 227.650
5. Michigan State 226.700
6. Illinois 223.725
7. Minnesota 217.225