June 24, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - Gopher gymnast Ellis Mannon was chosen as the University of Minnesota's nominee for the 2014 Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year Award. Mannon was featured on BigTen.org as part of its Big Ten Athlete of the Year Nominee Spotlight Series as well.
Mannon finished his junior season as the NCAA pommel horse champion, the Gophers first NCAA title winner since 2002 and the first under head coach Mike Burns. Mannon posted his second best score of the season in NCAA event finals, with his score of 15.450 earning him All-American honors as well.
Before winning the NCAA pommel horse crown, Mannon won the Big Ten pommel horse title and earned a spot on the All-Big Ten first team. Mannon also scored the third-highest men's pommel horse score of all-time at the Windy City Invitational, the second meet of the season.
Mannon was the Gophers lone gymnast to compete in the all-around during the season, and he finished 11th in the event at the NCAA championships. Mannon improved or tied his career high on every event except for the still rings during his junior campaign, and he is aiming for All-American honors in the all-around next year in his senior season.
Penn State wrestler David Taylor and Purdue track and field athlete Dani Bunch were named the Big Ten Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively. The pair has combined to record two individual national championships, four NCAA team titles, 13 All-America honors, nine individual Big Ten Championships and 10 individual postseason conference awards during their illustrious careers.
2014 Big Ten Athlete of the Year Nominees
School: Male nominee (sport); Female nominee (sport)
Illinois: Jesse Delgado (wrestling); Jannelle Flaws (soccer)
Indiana: Joey DeNato (baseball); Brooklynn Snodgrass (swimming & diving)
Iowa: Tony Ramos (wrestling); Natalie Cafone (field hockey)
Michigan: Connor Jaeger (swimming & diving); Joanna Sampson (gymnastics)
Michigan State: Darqueze Dennard (football); Allyssa Ferrell (golf)
Minnesota: Ellis Mannon (gymnastics); Lindsay Mable (gymnastics)
Nebraska: Miles Ukaoma (track & field); Emily Wong (gymnastics)
Northwestern: Jason Tsirtsis (wrestling); Alyssa Leonard (lacrosse)
Ohio State: Logan Stieber (wrestling); Catherine Shields (rowing)
Penn State: David Taylor (wrestling); Deja McClendon (volleyball)
Purdue: Raheem Mostert (track & field/football); Dani Bunch (track & field)
Wisconsin: Michael Lihrman (track & field); Alex Rigsby (ice hockey)
Gophers Prepare For Major Competitions
The Gophers will be represented at the World University Games and the P&G Championships at the end of August.
Meet Assistant Coach Jordan Valdez
Last week the Gophers announced the addition of Jordan Valdez to the men's gymnastics coaching staff.
Gophers Hire Valdez As Assistant Coach
The University of Minnesota has hired Jordan Valdez as the latest member of their coaching staff, head coach Mike Burns announced Friday.