Gophers' Mable floors even her gymnastics admirers

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 3, 2014 - 12:31 AM

When Lindsay Mable broke the U’s all-around mark, MaryAnne Kelley was thrilled. She used to hold the record.

Lindsay Mable is the Gophers’ first Big Ten all-around champion since 2009. She’s leading the team into Saturday’s NCAA regional.

Photo: BRIAN PETERSON • brian.peterson@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The first time she saw Lindsay Mable perform, MaryAnne Kelley knew she was looking at the gymnast who would break her Gophers record for highest all-around score. The first time she met Mable, Kelley understood she had found the kindred spirit who would cherish it as much as she had.

A standout Gophers gymnast from 1999-2002, Kelley struck up a friendship with the team’s current star when Mable joined the program last season. They became so close that Mable felt a little guilty on March 1, when she earned an all-around score of 39.625 in a dual-meet victory over Iowa State to break Kelley’s 12-year-old record of 39.600. “I was talking with her that night, and I was almost like, ‘I don’t want to break your record,’ ” Mable said Monday. “She’s an amazing person and a huge role model to me.”

Kelley feels much the same about Mable. She was there to see the sophomore set the mark, and she will be at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday to watch Mable and the Gophers compete at the NCAA regionals.

As a freshman, Mable helped the Gophers make the NCAA championships field for the first time since Kelley set the all-around record in 2002. This season, she became the program’s first Big Ten all-around champion since 2009, scored a perfect 10.0 to win the vault title at the league championships and was named a regular-season first-team All-America in all-around and floor exercise.

Mable said the 14th-ranked Gophers want to go a step further this spring by finishing in the top six at the NCAA meet. Like Kelley, she holds a deep love for the program and appreciation for its history, even as she continues to add new chapters.

“She is the total package: consistent, dynamic and graceful,” Kelley said. “And her love for performing just radiates from her. When you watch her, you can’t help but get a huge smile on your face.

“Lindsay and I have a special bond. It was such an honor to hold that record, and it means just as much to her.”

A Colorado native, Mable didn’t know much about the Gophers until she made a recruiting visit. She was won over by the close-knit, supportive environment fostered by the coaches and athletes.

She soon learned the sisterhood reaches beyond the current group at Peik Gym. Many Gophers alumnae have remained close to the program, including Kelley. She attends meets with her three children and her mother, 1968 Olympic gymnast Diane Bolin Kelley, and has helped cultivate the program’s sense of continuity and community.

Bolin Kelley has become close to Mable, too. The two chat via e-mail and Facebook, and Bolin Kelley gave Mable a lucky ladybug pin she used to wear to MaryAnne’s meets. The intergenerational friendships have made the Kelleys even bigger fans of Mable, who tied MaryAnne’s all-around record as a rookie and was named Big Ten freshman of the year.

Mable placed fourth on floor exercise and tied for fifth on vault at the NCAA meet to end a freshman season in which she was named a first-team All-America and all-Big Ten. As a sophomore, she has continued to refine the details of her routines while taking nothing for granted.

“It was amazing and surreal to have the season I had last year,” Mable said. “Coming in this year, I wanted to work just as hard and not let any of the success get to me. You have to keep working just as hard every year to achieve success. That’s helped me to never feel settled with what I’ve done.”

That includes her crowning achievements. Mable has pushed her Yurchenko full vault to new heights, and her 10.0 — the first perfect score for a Gophers gymnast in 12 years — helped the team finish third at the Big Ten meet after winning the league’s regular-season title. She also bettered the all-around record she set three weeks earlier, winning the Big Ten championship with a score of 39.650.

“Lindsay didn’t rest on her laurels,” coach Meg Stephenson said. “She’s very dedicated to training and to continuing to build the culture we’re trying to create. She’s already left a mark on this program.”

And already, Mable said, she is intent on teaching that culture to her younger teammates. She expects the Gophers’ greater depth and their NCAA tournament experience to benefit them this weekend and beyond, as she pursues the next milestones for herself and her team.

“Last year, I was unaware of what each [accomplishment] meant,” she said. “I’ve realized more this year what it really means. Passing the torch of what we’re all about, I’ve tried to make that my role.”



 

  • related content

  • Chart: NCAA women's gymnastics regional info

    Wednesday April 2, 2014

    WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS REGIONALWhen: 6 pm. SaturdayWhere: University of Minnesota Sports PavilionWho: Gophers, Oklahoma, California, Illinois, San Jose State and Southern...

  • The Gophers women’s gymnastics team is ranked 14th going into Saturday’s NCAA regional at the Sports Pavilion, but it’s shooting for a top-six finish at the NCAA meet. Sophomore Lindsay Mable, right, placed fourth on floor exercise and fifth on vault at the NCAA meet a year ago.

  • Lindsay Mable is the top gymnast in the Big Ten. She and the Gophers are preparing for the NCAA regional meet on Saturday at the Sports Pavilion.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - R. Hernandez 12:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:05 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 14 1st Qtr 6:45
Rice 7
Troy 0 1st Qtr 3:59
(13) Georgia 14
Georgia Tech 3 1st Qtr 2:00
Virginia Tech 3
Eastern Mich 0 1st Qtr 2:18
(11) Michigan State 28
Iowa 7 2nd Qtr
Pittsburgh 7
Bowling Green 7 1st Qtr 4:09
(19) Wisconsin 14
Maryland 0 1st Qtr 11:37
Syracuse 3
Tulane 0 1st Qtr 12:10
Duke 6
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close