May 7, 2012
Six Minnesota gymnasts competed at the US National Qualifier in Colorado Springs this past weekend in an effort to qualify to the 2012 VISA Championships. Zack Chase was the only Gopher to qualify and will compete in St Louis, MO on June 7th and 9th.
"Qualifying to the VISA Championships is a big accomplishment for any gymnast, and we are thrilled that Zack performed well enough to make it to the next level," head coach Mike Burns said. "The VISA Championships will determine the US National Team and those gymnasts who will compete at the Olympic Trials."
The five other Gopher gymnasts to compete at the National Qualifier included Ellis Mannon, Sean Bauer, Donnie Carper, Adam Kern, and Steve Jaciuk.
"We had four freshmen and two sophomores compete at the Qualifier. Although Zack was the only one to make it to VISA's, the other five gained valuable experience at this level of competition," Burns said.
Chase qualified based on a 20 point system where gymnasts are awarded points on each event based on their placing on those events. First place receives 20 points, second place recieves 19 points, etc., all the way down to 20th place, which receives 1 point. At the conclusion of the meet, all the points are tallied and qualification is based on the number of points received.
Chase finished with a total of 35 points, which put him in 12th place overall in the points rankings. The sophomore earned points on all three events he competed on. He finished with 17 points for his 4th place finish on Vault (15.95) and 9 points for a pair of 12th place finishes on the Floor Exercise (14.15) and Still Rings (13.55).
Other Gophers to earn top-20 points included Ellis Mannon (18 points for a 3rd place finish on Pommel Horse with a score of 14.90), Steve Jaciuk (15 points for a 6th place finish on High Bar with a score of 14.15), and Sean Bauer (13 points for an 8th place finish on Floor Exercise with a score of 14.35). Adam Kern and Donnie Carper also competed but did not earn any points in the competition.