Kelley earns gymnast of the week honors after excellence in Iowa

Senior gymnast MaryAnne Kelley was named the Big Ten Conference Women’s Co-Gymnast of the Week for the second time this season and the fourth time in her career for the week of Feb. 20. She shares the accolade with Michigan’s Elise Ray.

Kelley had a spectacular weekend in Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones and Iowa Hawkeyes. The Barrington, Ill., native set a career-high on balance beam scoring a near-perfect 9.95, a mark that ties the Gophers all-time top score. She went on to post a season-high performance on floor exercise recording a 9.925 to lead Minnesota.

Against Iowa, Kelley did not score less than 9.85 in any event to total a 39.600 career-high all-around score, setting the highest mark in Minnesota school history. She tied first place on floor exercise with a 9.95, tying her career-high mark in the event and the Gopher all-time record. She led Minnesota on beam earning a 9.925.

Kelley is a two-time All-Big Ten selection, second-team All-American on vault and the third Gopher gymnast to qualify individually for the NCAA Championships when she competed in the all around last season.

Minnesota competes against Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 23, in Williams Arena at 7 p.m. The Gophers are ranked No. 11 this week, owning a 5-2 dual meet record and a 2-1 Big Ten record.

Lewis recognized

University of Minnesota junior wrestler Ryan Lewis has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, following his outstanding performances last week in Big Ten dual meets versus No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 13 Illinois. It is the third conference honor this season for the grappler from Vernal, Utah.

Lewis, the nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, pinned Wisconsin’s fourth-ranked Kevin Black in just 2:04 to record his seventh fall of the season. In Saturday’s tilt, Lewis posted a 15-4 major decision over 15th-ranked Chad Hay of Illinois. Lewis stands at 24-0 on the season overall and 13-0 in dual meet competition. His 24- match win streak is the sixth-longest in Gopher history.

Gymnastics tickets on sale

Minnesota’s men’s gymnastics team hosts the 2002 Big Ten Championships at the Sports Pavilion. The two-day event takes place Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, and begins at 7 p.m. on both nights. This marks the first time the conference championships will be held at Minnesota since the 1997 season.

The team and individual all-around competitions will be contested on Friday night with the individual event finals held on Saturday evening.

All six teams in the Big Ten Conference are currently ranked in the Top 10 nationally. With the caliber of teams present, this year’s championships could be the most hotly contested in Big Ten history.

Top competitors will include Minnesota’s two-time NCAA Champion Clay Strother and Ohio State’s Silver Medal World Gymnastic Team member Raj Bhavsar.

All-session ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Single session tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students. Tickets for the event can be purchased by contacting the Gopher ticket office at (612) 624-8080 or 1-800-UGOPHER (1-800- 846-7437) or by visiting www.gophersports.com.