On Saturday night, the judges at the men’s gymnastics meet
in Iowa were grilled about their scoring.
Some might have thought Bobby Knight was doing the arguing.
But on second glance, it was the normally well-mannered and
laid-back Michigan coach, Kurt Golder.
“I used to be on the coaching staff at Iowa,” Golder
said. “My former secretary came up to me at the end and said
I looked like Bobby Knight out there, fighting with the officials.
But, I had to fight for my athletes.”
Losing by a score of 217.925-213.550, the Wolverines could never
seem to get ahead of the Iowa Hawkeyes. And the double whammy of
not getting the scores they felt they deserved and not performing
their best made it impossible to win.
All night the Wolverines were in a battle with the judges.
Golder especially didn’t agree on the vault score given to
2003 NCAA champion Drew DiGiore.
“The one judge had a 9.6 and the other had a 9.4,”
Golder said. “That was the last performance of the night, so
I stayed there and talked to them a little bit. I said (to the
judge with a 9.4), ‘That guy was the national
champion.’ And he goes, ‘Oh he was?’ He implied
that had he known that, he would have given him a better
Despite the low scoring, both DiGiore and Eddie Umphrey were
able to capture first place finishes on the vault and still rings
with scores of 9.500 and 9.300, respectively. But, the best
performance of the night came from Andrew Elkind on the parallel
bars. Although he did not post an extremely high score because of a
low start value, he came within a tenth of a point of hitting his
“Andrew has had trouble competing,” Golder said.
“But as a freshman he has showed huge signs of knowing how to
learn to compete well.”
Floor exercise proved to be a strong event for sophomores Gerry
Signorelli and Luke Bottke. Signorelli came in third with a score
of 9.325, while Bottke trailed right behind him to finish in
fourth-place with a 9.300.
The rest of the Wolverines struggled with a combination of
missed routines and technical errors. Overall, Golder was
disappointed with the way the team performed this late in the
“Some of the guys are competing like they’re
scared,” Golder said. “When you hold back, you try to
make sure everything is perfect and, most likely, still mess up.
There are still several guys who need to learn how to compete
Though the meet was far from perfect, the Wolverines are trying
to keep a positive outlook with the Big Ten Tournament two weeks
“We will use this meet to examine what went wrong and
hopefully prevent something from going wrong in the future. I would
rather have a feeling that a peak lies ahead of us than have things
be too perfect,” Golder said.