April 10, 2012
The NCAA announced today that the University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team has been selected to the 2012 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics National Qualifier. The national qualifier, which consists of two pre-qualifying sessions, will be held at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma beginning on Thursday, April 19.
"It's always exciting to get the official word from the NCAA Gymnastics Committee that we are in the NCAA tournament as one of the top 12 teams in the nation," head coach Mike Burns said. "As the Big Ten Championships slowly become history, we are looking forward to the NCAA qualification round with great anticipation. The level of competition always increases at the NCAA's, and this year will be no different. We will be competing against five other solid teams on Thursday. It will be great to be on the same floor with so many great gymnasts and to know that a fierce battle is about to take place to qualify as one of the top three teams to make it to the Team Finals."
The Championships will include a total of 12 teams, six all-around competitors (not from a selected team) and six individual event specialists (not from a selected team or selected all-around). These athletes will compete across two sessions. The first session will begin on April 19 at 1 p.m. CT, followed by the second session at 7 p.m. CT.
Minnesota will be competing in the evening session on Thursday along with Oklahoma, Illinois, Cal-Berkeley, Temple, and Air Force Academy.
The top three teams and top three all-around competitors not on one of the qualifying teams, plus the top three individuals on each event not already qualified on a team or as an all-around competitor, will advance from each pre-qualifying session to the finals session. Final competitions will take place April 20-21, also at the University of Oklahoma.
The Gophers were one of 12 teams to qualify for the event. Their qualifying score of 346.9 was the fifth highest qualifying score of the 12 teams selected. All seven Big Ten men's gymnastics team earned berths to the Championships.
"We have a great group of guys who have been working hard all year to get to this point in the season," Burns said. "I expect them to be focused and ready to compete when it counts the most. The NCAA Championships is the greatest meet in the world in Men's Gymnastics, and the Golden Gophers are ready to be a big part of the action when things get underway next Thursday in Norman, OK."