The Gophers men's gymnastics team barely missed qualifying for the team finals in the NCAA championships in Norman, Okla. Minnesota finished fourth in the first session of team competition on Thursday — the top three teams advance — with a score of 432.700, or 0.200 behind Penn State.
Minnesota had season highs of 74.30 in floor exercise and 71.65 on pommel horse and was in second place until high bar, its final routine.
Senior Ellis Mannon advanced to the all-around finals on Friday, finishing in a tie for fifth (82.60) in the preliminaries.
Nine Gophers, including Mannon, will be in the individual event finals on Saturday. Senior Steve Jaciuk will be in two events, high bar and still rings, the others in one. Mannon, the defending champion on the pommel horse (15.050), placed third in the preliminaries while freshman Yaroslav Pochinka tied for third in vault (15.100).
Also in the finals are senior Jack Metcalf (still rings), juniors Paul Montague (parallel bars) and Danny DiBenedetto (high bar), sophomore Zach Liebler (floor exercise) and freshman Joel Gagnon (floor exercise) and Jalon Stephens (high bar).
All of them advanced by finishing among the top three in their events, not counting the gymnasts on the top three teams from the first session: Stanford, California and Penn State.