The last couple of weeks have been subpar for the Michigan
men’s gymnastics team. The No. 7 Wolverines had not won a
dual meet since before Spring Break. So the gymnasts knew they
would have to make some changes preparing for the weekend’s
home contest against Ohio State.

The captains scheduled a players-only meeting Thursday night to
try and change the team’s attitude.

“It was all the gymnasts and just the gymnasts,”
sophomore Justin Laury said. “We made a list of what was
going on in the gym and outside of the gym, too. So we got fired
up, came out and worked on those things.”

The meeting left the gymnasts feeling confident for the stretch
run.

“We just talked about how the rest of the season is going
to finish up, and what we have to do to make it happen,”
David Flannery said. “We feel really good. This meet (against
Ohio State) was a good warm up for Big Tens, and now we’ll
really turn up the heat. We’ll turn it up at practice this
week, and go and dominate at Illinois.”

Dre’s comeback: Before his high bar routine, Andre
Hernandez, “Dre” to his teammates, stood next to the
high bar, jumping up and down on the mat. He was testing his knee
for his upcoming dismount.

Hernandez, one of Michigan’s most consistent gymnasts, had
been held out of the lineup for the last two weeks with a knee
injury. He came back against Ohio State to do just three events:
high bar, parallel bars and pommel horse.

“He provides a lot of depth,” Michigan coach Kurt
Golder said. “In some cases, he did a pretty easy routine.
His parallel bars routine had an easy dismount, and he left off his
biggest skill, but we plan on adding both of those pieces next
week. His steadiness is great. He hit all of his routines again
tonight. He struggled a little bit on horse, but he fought through
and turned what would be a miss for most people into a hit routine.
It’s great to have the most consistent performer
back.”

Despite his injuries, Hernandez placed second in the high bar
with a score of 9.55 and was able to stick his landing. Golder
expects him to be ready for next weekend with all of his routines
back to normal form. His teammates are excited to get him back into
competition.

“It’s getting serious at the end of the
season,” David Flannery said. “We got Dre back, and he
was a soldier tonight, really toughing it through all his events.
That really helped us.”

Making the trip: Eddie Umphrey’s parents made the
30-hour train ride from Albuquerque, N.M. to Ann Arbor for their
first home gymnastics meet since their son has been at Michigan.
They left with a little more than just the memories.

Umphrey threw a t-shirt that said “Gymnastics
Superfan” into the crowd for fan appreciation after he placed
second on the still rings, and his mother caught it.

Then, after he scored a 9.0 on his parallel bars routine,
Umphrey blew a kiss across the crowd to his parents. He said that
it means a lot to get them up for this meet because it’s a
long trip for them.

“It was awesome to have a great performance and pull out a
great win with my parents in the stands,” Umphrey said.
“I’m extremely happy that they were able to make
it.”

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