Aug. 25, 2014
PITTSBURGH - This past weekend, Minnesota senior Ellis Mannon and incoming freshman Yaroslav Pochinka competed at the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center. The competition, which serves as a part of the selection process for the U.S. National Team that will travel to the World Championships, proved to be a perfect stage for the two Gopher gymnasts.
Among three Olympians, five world medalists and many current members of the U.S. Senior National Team, the two Gophers shined.
Mannon, the current NCAA Pommel Horse Champion, finished the two day competition in 16th place in the all-around with an overal total of 170.55 while completing the competition in third place on Pommel Horse and ninth place on Parallel Bars.
"Ellis was definitely competing within his comfort zone all weekend," said Gopher head coach Mike Burns. "Ellis had a great two day competition and put together a very consistent performance representing the Gophers on the biggest gymnastics stage in the country."
He again excelled on his signature event, the pommel horse, where he finished 3rd overall behind Olympian Sam Mikulak and World Championship Team Member Alex Naddour.
"Ellis performed two very good routines on pommel horse this weekend and we rewarded with the bronze medal for his innovative routine," said Burns.
One of the newest Gophers also excelled on gymnastics biggest stage as Pochinka excelled in the second session of competition to move from tenth place to sixth place to secure a spot on the Junior National Team.
"It was great to see Yaro put together such a great all-around performance tonight and move himself into a secure spot on the junior National Team," said Burns. "I'm very proud of what he and his coach Pavel Sadovsky were able to accomplish this summer and we are extremely excited about Yaro joining the Golden Gophers later this week when he comes to campus and starts school."
Both Mannon and Pochinka will return to Minneapolis this week to prepare for the start of the academic year. For more information about the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships, please visit the USA Gymnastics website here.
Preview: Gophers set for quad at Stanford
Minnesota will travel this weekend to compete against Stanford, and the National Teams from both Japan and Canada.
Day Two: Winter Cup Challenge
Stephens finished 23rd in the all-around competition, while alum Mannon finished fifth on pommel horse. Incoming freshman Wiskus also competed in the all-around finals, finishing 12th.
Day One: Winter Cup Challenge
Stephens, Wiskus, Mannon advance to the 2017 Winter Cup Challenge finals this Saturday, Feb. 18. in Las Vegas, Nev.