Despite indecisive judging, previous injuries and a battle on the road, the No. 4 Michigan men’s gymnastics team cruised to a 212.350-208.975 victory over No. 9 Minnesota. This win gave the Wolverines their first winning record all season at 5-4.

Paving the way for Michigan was senior Conan Parzuchowski, who gave a close to flawless performance as he elegantly maneuvered his body on the still rings. When the judges scores appeared, one judge held up a prestigious 9.9. But after viewing the other judges’ scores, his 9.9 quickly changed to a 9.7.

“The breaks never seem to come our way when we’re on the road,” Michigan coach Kurt Golder said. “Just like there are bad calls in football, there are bad calls in gymnastics. A call’s a call, so you just live with it.”

Luckily, Parzuchowski managed to confirm a solid score of 9.725, giving him the highest score of the meet and his season-best performance. Dominating the competition, he placed in the top five on three events.

Freshman Gerry Signorelli also earned a first place finish with an 8.625 on the horizontal bar, marking his first win of the season. Signorelli also grabbed a second place finish in the all-around competition with a score of 52.7.

An additional “first” was freshman Luke Botke’s floor routine. In his first action of the season, Botke grabbed a second place finish behind two-time defending national champion, Minnesota’s Clay Struther.

“Luke did real well for his first time out,” Golder said. “He’s gone through a lot of hard times with wrist problems, and he’s had two surgeries. This was his first opportunity, and I’m real proud.”

Just like Botke, other gymnasts have had nagging injuries as well. Senior captain Scott Vetere was back in the parallel bar lineup for the first time in a year and a half due to a previous shoulder injury. Three-quarters of the way through his parallel bar routine, Vetere lost his balance and fell off. But he was quick to get back up and finish strong.

“Scott did have a missed routine, but it was great to have him back out there,” Golder said. “He seems to be in good spirits. After his second shoulder surgery he was at a stand still for a while, but now he seems like a different person.”

Overall, Golder was pleased with his team’s performance.

“Sometimes it’s hard to go on the road and be all fired up,” he said. “When we don’t start (our season) at full strength we learn to tolerate a loss, but it’s great to go on the road in the Big Ten and come away with a win.

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