Gopher gymnast qualifies for championships

by Max Sanders

After a disappointing fifth place finish in the 2009 NCAA Championships made even more painful by the fact they were held at the Minnesota Sports Pavilion, Gopher gymnast Kit Beikmann looked to rebound from that performance and qualify for the Visa Championships.


The U.S. Qualifiers, held in Colorado Springs, Colo., provided another chance for Beikmann to perform in front of a home crowd. Hailing from nearby Brighton, Colo., Beikmann looked to make the Visa Championships by finishing in the top two of the pommel horse, his strongest event.


A top two finish in any of the six individual events guarantees qualification for the championships. A finish outside the top two leaves receiving a top combined score through all six events as the only other way of qualifying.


Beikmann finished third in the pommel horse and was forced to wait out both sessions of play to see if his scores would qualify.


The wait proved to be worth it, as his third place finish, and the 18 points along with it, proved enough to gain entry into the Visa Championships.


Minnesota Head Coach Mike Burns said to Gopher Sports that he thinks Beikmann is ready for the challenge of competing in the Visa Championships: "He is definitely one of the top dogs on horse in this country. He will face even tougher competition at the Visa Championships. But he’ll be ready for it."