Mannon Wins Horse Title at Visa Championships Incoming freshman takes big win
Aug. 24, 2011
Incoming freshman Ellis Mannon is undefeated in the State of Minnesota and he hasn't even started competing for the Gophers yet. Mannon won the United States Championship on the pommel horse for the 16-18-year-old junior category at the USA Gymnastics Visa Championships last week at Xcel Energy Center.
Mannon's combined two-day score of 28.000 easily blew away the next nearest competitor, earning him the title.
"I've been training hard all summer for it," Mannon said. "My coach has been on me from the beginning of the summer, training for this meet. It was great to accomplish what I set out to do."
Minnesota head coach Mike Burns said he was very proud of Mannon.
"I can't tell you how excited we are about Ellis coming to Minnesota this fall," Burns said. "His pommel horse victory at the Visa Championships is an amazing accomplishment and will be a huge factor in our success this coming season."
Mannon said his routine starts with a "real flashy move" called a flair spindle. When he nailed that skill and reached the halfway point of the routine, he started to believe it could be a special result.
"That's really the hardest skill in the routine and I nailed that," Mannon said of the flair spindle. "It kind of fell from there. About halfway through, I started to realize I'm going to hit this thing. That was when I knew I was going to get a big score. It was great when I finally won it."
Mannon said it was even more special to win the event here in Minnesota, where he'll be competing as a Gopher for the next four years.
"It was a great feeling," Mannon said. "I had some of the other gymnasts from the team, they were there cheering me on. So it really felt like I was where I was supposed to be. It worked out well."
So, now that he's undefeated on the pommel horse here in the State of Minnesota, Mannon is going to do his best to keep that record intact.
"That would be a pretty cool record to have," he said.
Aug. 24, 2011
See Elliss Mannon's U.S. Championship-winning pommel horse routine by clicking the video above