Categorized | Club, Elite, Featured, Men's Gymnastics, NCAA

“Tall Gymnast” is No Oxymoron

Posted on 05 September 2008 by admin

Gymnastics is a sport for shorter people, right?  It’s true that the average height for adult male gymnasts is around 5’4″ to 5’7″.  Jonathan Horton is listed at 5’1″.  Paul Hamm measures in at 5’6″.  Russia’s Alexei Nemov is 5’8″, and he won 12 Olympic medals before retiring after the 2004 Athens Olympics.  Recently deceased Russian Olympic champion, Boris Shakhlin, was also 5’8″, and always considered tall.

Get on your tiptoes, guys, because coming up through the elite level are some serious six-footers. Here is at least a partial list of gymnasts with higher centers of gravity who competed last year for NCAA Division I gymnastics programs:

  • Ben Ketelson – University of Iowa (6’0″ Freshman)
  • Russell Czeschin – Oklahoma University (6’3″ Junior)
  • Kevin Murphy – Air Force Academy (6’0″ Senior)
  • Brian Boardman – Air Force Academy (6’0″ Senior)
  • Kipp Druecke – Air Force Academy (6’2″ Freshman)

Russell Czeschin (photo, left, OU Athletics Media Relations) had the most successful season among these tall gymnasts.  At the 2008 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships, Czeschin earned All-American honors for the second straight season on floor (15.375).

These fine scholarship athletes provide proof and inspiration that it’s possible to be successful tall gymnasts.  Let us know of any other six-footers out there, either at the club or elite/NCAA level, and we will update this list accordingly.

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. TCO Says:

    there’s that guy on pommels. Berki? Belenki?

  2. admin Says:

    Very good! Krisztián Berki is 5’10” and was the ’07 World silver medalist on pommel.

  3. Rick McCharles Says:

    There’s a 6’ 5” acrobat in Le Reve, Vegas who was a gymnast as well, I believe.

    … Cannot recall his name.

    And he was not a high level gymnast.

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