July 17, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota senior gymnast Ellis Mannon will compete at the 2014 Men's National Qualifier this weekend at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two-day event marks the last opportunity for men to qualify for the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa., in August, as well as an opportunity to tune-up for nationals.
Mannon led the Gophers in 2014, capping his junior season as the NCAA and Big Ten Conference champion on pommel horse and securing Minnesota's first national title in over a decade. He also made significant progress as an all-around gymnast, setting or tying his career-best score on every apparatus but still rings. Mannon received the team's Most Valuable Gymnast award, along with the Outstanding Accomplishment award, for his efforts.
The Men's National Qualifier begins on Saturday with two sessions of junior and senior optional competition. It wraps up on Sunday with the junior technical sequence. A total of 86 athletes from 30 states will compete at the training center this weekend.
According to USA Gymnastics, athletes can qualify to the senior division at the 2014 P&G Championships in a variety of ways:
Senior national team members following the 2014 Winter Cup Challenge automatically qualified to the championships. A minimum of 14 athletes will qualify to the P&G championships based on the national Points Ranking System from this weekend's national qualifier. The top six ranked all-arounders that are U.S. citizens from among the top 12 all-around athletes at the 2014 NCAA Championships also qualify to the P&G championships. This will total approximately 36 qualifiers.
The 2014 P&G Championships will be held Aug. 21-24 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Minnesota Tops Canada, Falls to Japan and Stanford
Minnesota finished third with a score of 405.600 in a quad-meet with the Japanese National Team (425.800), Stanford (421.550) and the Canadian National Team (392.700) on Saturday night.
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.