Nov. 5, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – A senior gymnast from Tampa, Fla., Steffen Beck is looking forward to making the most of his senior year with a veteran Gopher men's gymnastics squad already working hard to build on last year's success.
Beck competes on pommel horse and rings but missed the 2013 season due to injury. Nevertheless, he says rallying to take third at the 2013 Big Ten Championships is one of his greatest memories with the Gophers. Beck loves the team culture and atmosphere behind being a Golden Gopher.
How did you first get into gymnastics?
My mom signed me up for gymnastics when I was three years old.
How did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I took a few trips to a few different schools, and I liked it here, the team, the balance and the campus.
What do you think will be the team's greatest strength this season?
It's a little too early to tell. I think we're going to be strong on pommel horse. I think this is going to be a really good year because we have a lot of juniors and seniors and a lot of experience. I think everyone has been there competing in championship meets for the most part, and the experience that we bring will be important. We've been ranked lower than we want to be for the last few years. Everyone's kind of feeling like this is the year to do something.
What's it like being a senior leader on this year's team?
The seniors, and some of the juniors as well, just try to bring everyone together to create that team atmosphere at meets. Gymnastics in general is kind of an individual sport, but being in college, it kind of turns into a team effort. When you're out there competing, it feels more like a team competition rather than an individual one.
What's your favorite event?
Pommel horse – definiely pommel horse. It's an event I've always been good at, and I like the technicalities of it. A lot of people think it's the most difficult one, so that kind of attracts me to it as well.
What's your favorite memory with the Gophers?
Even though I wasn't competing because I was injured, I would say last year going 30-for-30 at Big Tens was pretty cool.
what's your favorite thing about the Twin Cities?
When it starts to get warm outside!
Do you have any pre-meet rituals?
I visualize all my sets. I don't know if it's a superstition, but everyone tapes things a certain way. I'd say gymnastics in general is a pretty superstitious sport. There are a lot of pre-meet traditions that people do.
Do you have any role models?
My dad. He started out with pretty much nothing and now he's pretty successful.
What are your career plans?
I'm a business marketing major. I'm trying to go into financial services and be a financial advisor. I worked at an investment firm last summer, so I'm trying to get into that. It's something I've always been interested in. I grew up with MSNBC on the television because of my dad, so I went with that. My goal is to move back home after graduation this spring.
Beck and the Gophers begin the 2014 season with the annual Alumni Meet on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
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.
Day One: Winter Cup Challenge
Stephens, Wiskus, Mannon advance to the 2017 Winter Cup Challenge finals this Saturday, Feb. 18. in Las Vegas, Nev.