No. 8 Nebraska at No. 6 Minnesota
Date: Saturday, Feb. 18
Start Time: 1 p.m. CT
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Venue: Sports Pavilion
Live Stats: GopherSports.com
After falling to No. 6 Minnesota last week in Iowa City, the No. 8 Nebraska men's gymnastics team will look to bounce back against the Golden Gophers in a Big Ten conference matchup this weekend. The Huskers will face Minnesota at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
The Huskers hold a 4-5 record so far in 2012, logging wins over Iowa, Air Force, Washington and Arizona State and losses to Oklahoma, Air Force, Stanford, California and Minnesota. This is the second of three times that Nebraska and Minnesota are slated to meet this season.
The University of Minnesota will provide free live stats for the meet online at GopherSports.com. Fans are also invited to follow the team on Twitter (@NebraskaMGym) for live updates during the meet against the Golden Gophers.
Nebraska in the National Rankings
Nebraska jumped three spots to No. 8 in this week's GymInfo Poll with a team three-score average of 335.217. The poll, released Monday, Feb. 13, places the Huskers at fifth among Big Ten Teams and fourth in the Western region. Oklahoma held fast at the No. 1 position in the latest rankings, while Penn State took the No. 2 spot and Illinois came in at No. 3.
The Huskers continued to improve in the individual event rankings, moving up two spots on floor exercise to ninth (56.333) and two spots on pommel horse to seventh (54.950). NU held strong on still rings, coming in at 11th (55.417). Nebraska is also eighth on vault (57.833), parallel bars (56.267) and high bar (55.650).
Five Nebraska athletes found themselves in the individual rankings of the latest poll, led by sophomore Eric Schryver. Schryver is 14th on pommel horse (14.233) and tied for 15th on parallel bars (14.267). Two Huskers locked up spots in the vault rankings, paced by junior Wyatt Baier's appearance at 10th (14.767). Freshman Grant Perdue also sits at 18th on vault (14.567). Senior Will Eastman rounded out Nebraska's appearances in the rankings, coming in at 19th on high bar (14.117).
Scouting the Minnesota Golden Gophers
Head Coach: Mike Burns
2012 Record: 4-0
2012 High Score: 345.400 (at Air Force, 1/21/12)
The No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers hold a 4-0 record this season with a home win over UIC and road wins over Air Force, Iowa and Nebraska. The Golden Gophers finished fifth in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation last season and have steadily improved this season.
Minnesota is ranked in the top five nationally on three events, holding a fourth-place spot on pommel horse (56.567) and parallel bars (57.133) and a fifth-place rank on still rings (57.500). The Golden Gophers add rankings of sixth on vault (58.133) and high bar (56.367), as well as seventh on floor exercise (57.933).
Two Minnesota athletes appear in the top five of their events nationally. Freshman Ellis Mannon is fourth nationally on pommel horse (14.733), while senior Russell Dabritz comes in at fourth on parallel bars (14.833). Senior Ross Cameratta also appears at seventh on parallel bars (14.567) and sophomore Zack Chase holds an eighth-place ranking on vault (14.833).
NU will take a week off from competition before returning to action at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on March 4. The Huskers will host Arizona State in a co-ed meet alongside the Nebraska women's matchup with Florida. The event is slated for a 2 p.m. start and will be a Pepsi Pack the House dual meet featuring $1 admission and 24 oz. Pepsi products.
Last Time Out: Nebraska Places Second in Big Ten Opener
The No. 11 Nebraska men's gymnastics team finished in second place at their Big Ten opener in Iowa City, posting a team score of 336.500 on Saturday night. The No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers took first place on the night (340.000), while the No. 12 Iowa Hawkeyes finished in third (334.500).
The Huskers were led on the evening by senior Andreas Hofer, who captured the event title on high bar with a mark of 14.40 while leading the Huskers in two additional events. Sophomore Wyatt Baier also picked up an event title on vault, finishing in a three-way tie for first with a score of 14.70.
The Huskers started the day on pommel horse. NU posted a team score of 54.100, slightly below their season average (54.750). Nebraska was paced by sophomores Wyatt Aycock and Eric Schryver, who both logged marks of 13.80. Senior David Jacobs added a score of 13.70 for the Big Red.
Nebraska moved to still rings, totalling a team score of 54.300. Hofer led the Huskers on the event, posting a score of 13.70. Sophomores C.J. Schaaf and Donovan Arndt added marks of 13.60 apiece.
The third rotation saw the Huskers on floor exercise, where they posted a team mark of 57.000, well above their season average (55.400). Nebraska was again led by Hofer, whose mark of 14.60 was good for second overall. Freshman Hayden Henrioulle also had an excellent day on floor, posting a 14.30 overall.
Nebraska moved to parallel bars for their fourth rotation, posting a team mark of 56.600. Aycock led the Huskers, hitting a 14.40. Schryver added a 14.20, while Hofer tacked on a 14.10 for the Huskers.
Nebraska posted a team score of 56.500 on high bar in their fifth rotation, soaring past their team average of 54.850. Hofer again paced the Huskers with his meet-leading mark. Senior Will Eastman added a career-best mark of 14.30, while Josh Ungar tacked on a 13.90 in his first outing on high bar for the Huskers.
The Huskers took to vault for their final rotation, tallying a team score of 58.000, Baier's title-winning mark led NU on the evening, while freshman Grant Perdue contributed a score of 14.50 for Nebraska.
Nebraska Joins Top Men's Gymnastics Programs in Big Ten
The 2012 campaign will mark the beginning of a new era for NU men's gymnastics, as the team begins its first season as competitors in the Big Ten in January. The traditional strength of the conference in men's gymnastics points toward a competitive season for the Big Red.
The No. 9 Huskers were picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Preseason Coaches' Poll, illustrating the top-to-bottom strength of the conference. Three-time defending conference champion Illinois topped the poll, while Michigan and Penn State rounded out the top three.
Two Huskers were named to the Big Ten's 2012 Gymnasts to Watch list in the preseason. Senior Andreas Hofer and sophomore Wyatt Aycock were listed among the 14 conference gymnasts. Hofer has competed in the individual all-around finals at the NCAA Championships two times and finished in a tie for 11th at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Aycock will be looking to improve on his freshman campaign in which he posted a school record mark of 88.60 in all-around competition against Iowa and Minnesota.