Winning a meet is great. Winning 150 meets is even better. On
Saturday, the Michigan men’s gymnastics team cruised to a
214.600-209.350 victory over Minnesota at Cliff Keen Arena. The
victory marks the 150th win for eight-year Michigan head coach Kurt
Golder.

Beth Dykstra
Michigan junior Eddie Umphrey performs on the still rings against Minnesota. Umphrey placed first on both the rings and the parallel bars. (SHUBRA OHRI/Daily)

Junior Eddie Umphrey led the way for the Wolverines, placing
first on both the still rings (9.35) and parallel bars (9.0). He
also claimed a second-place finish on vault and a third-place
finish on floor.

“It felt great,” Umphrey said. “I
haven’t won an event in a home meet for a while. It was nice
to come out here and just kick it out and get a couple
personal-bests tonight.”

At the Winter Cup last weekend in Las Vegas, Umphrey failed to
shine in front of his friends and family who came from Albuquerque,
N.M., to watch him compete. Without the pressure, Umphrey was able
to put it all together.

“It’s funny how that went because (last weekend) his
family was there, and I thought it was all staged, and he was just
going to knock em’ dead,” Golder said. “But he
had a pretty rough meet. Now he comes back a week later, does very
well, and this may have been the best meet he’s had since
he’s been here.”

For the rest of the Wolverines, the meet had its ups and downs
as the team struggled to stay on top of its game. The Wolverines
were plagued by numerous falls and missed routines, especially in
the first half of competition.

“Pommel horse and parallel bars were a disappointment
today,” Golder said. “I thought we got off to a pretty
decent start on floor, but we got really low scores and that kind
of gets the guys down. I started to get real worried in the middle
of the meet, because Minnesota’s a good team.”

Despite the shaky start, the vault seemed to turn the meet
around for the Wolverines as 2003 NCAA champion Andrew DiGiore had
a clutch performance, posting a 9.55 — the top score of the
night on any event.

Sophomore Justin Laury, a fierce competitor for the Wolverines,
also had a strong showing by winning the high bar, his strongest
event, with a score of 9.35. Laury also placed second on rings and
third on parallel bars.

“I felt good about my performance,” Laury said.
“I had some rough areas. Parallel bars were okay and I had a
lot of trouble on pommel horse, but it’s just something
I’m going to have to deal with and just get better as the
week goes on.”

Absent from the competition was standout redshirt freshman Andre
Hernandez. Hernandez, Michigan’s most consistent performer
thus far this season, sat out due to an aggravated knee injury. The
injury weakened the lineup for the meet, but should leave him
feeling strong as the Wolverines take on defending NCAA champion
Oklahoma next weekend.

Although Golder’s 150th win wasn’t the best meet he
has ever seen, he still looks forward to what’s in store.

“I’m disappointed that, this late in the season, we
have that many missed routines,” Golder said. “But I
feel that we’re demonstrating how good we can be. We
didn’t have a very good meet, we didn’t have our
strongest lineup, I didn’t feel that the scoring was real
high or anything, and we still scored a 214.600. I think we can go
another five points higher than that. So we’ll just keep
showing our promise and hopefully that will all come together in
the end.”

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