It’s not often that a group of people younger than 21 gets
so excited about going to Las Vegas. Generally, drinking, gambling
and getting married are the primary reasons to head out west to Sin
City. But, all that will change this weekend when male gymnasts
from around the country head to Nevada to participate in the annual
Winter Cup.

Laura Wong
This weekend, junior Eddie Umphrey will have the chance to compete with his family in the audience when the Wolverines travel to Las Vegas for the Winter Cup. (TONY DING/Daily)

Michigan’s focus will be on the three gymnasts —
Geoff Corrigan, Andre Hernandez and Justin Laury — who have a
chance to make the Senior National Team. But the meet is special
for Michigan’s Eddie Umphrey and Gerry Signorelli for
different reasons. Umphrey will have the opportunity to compete in
front of his parents for the first time this season, and Signorelli
will simply be competing for the first time this season.

“I don’t see my family that much because they live
all the way across the country,” Umphrey said. “I get
to see them maybe two weeks for Christmas and two weeks over the
summer and that’s about it. So it will be really nice to see
my parents again. It’s always nice. I love competing in front
of my family.”

Michigan coach Kurt Golder explained that all of the gymnasts
tend to compete well when they have a family cheering section. But
he added that it is especially important to Umphrey because his
family lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“He lives a long way from here, so his parents don’t
get to come to a lot of meets,” Golder said. “It
probably means more to him for them to get to this one meet than it
does for the other guys whose parents come a lot more
often.”

Signorelli is in an entirely different boat. The last time he
competed was in the Maize and Blue Intrasquad scrimmage on Dec. 13.
He had high hopes at the beginning of the season, but tore his
pectoral muscle while training at home over break. The injury was
originally supposed to keep him out for 10 days, but it has
sidelined him for more than a month and significantly changed his
role on the team.

“I’ve been watching the team compete all year, and
now I finally get to contribute a little bit,” Signorelli
said. “It has been a different role cheering the team on. But
now I’m just hoping to contribute. I’m really excited
because it’s a fun meet.

“Usually, I enjoy this meet a lot because it’s a
chance to go out and show yourself off. But this time I am using it
as a stepping stone to get back into competition.”

Golder, who expected Signorelli to be out for much longer, has
been impressed over the last couple of weeks with the
sophomore’s effort, which has allowed him to come back and
enter in four events this weekend.

“(Signorelli) has been pleasantly surprising me with how
fast he has been coming back,” Golder said. “He had to
come back very slowly, but the last week he really poured it on and
I was really pleased with all of the progress that he made last
week. We’ll just have to see. I expect him to do really
well.”

Even though they are headed to Las Vegas, the gymnasts
haven’t lost focus. They plan on staying off “the
Strip,” while they are out West.

“We try to stay away from the Strip because it could get
distracting,” Signorelli said. “We stay a few miles off
the Strip and don’t really go in there.”

“I’ve been to the Strip a few times and I have seen
it all,” Umphrey said. “But this weekend I have so much
work to do with homework and exams. I think the only time I’m
going to be able to get out of my room is just to go to the meet
and just to come back and hit the books.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *