A third place finish for prelims at this year’s Worlds, trip to the Olympic Trials in 2008, and a second place finish at US Nationals in 2009 may all seem a surprise when looking over Tim McNeill’s resume in gymnastics. The truth is that Tim, “who has, for years, been a little-known member of the National Team” as Inside Gymnastics called him, is a self-proclaimed low-key competitor who calls himself a “full-time gymnast”.
While his performances there did not earn him a spot on the US Olympic team, he did provide a glimpse into the future. In the last quad, while never taking the big prize, Tim has always been within the top three of the national title on pommel horse. At the 2009 Nationals, Tim finished 2nd in the All-Around, took the national title on the parallel bars, and was third on what many consider his best event, the pommel horse.
The former Cal State Bear (he graduated in December of 2008 and now works as the program’s assistant coach) won five NCAA national titles, the most in school history, including a three-year streak on the pommel horse (2006-2008).
After Nationals, Inside Gymnastics spoke with Tim about his silver-medal finish.
“This meet was exhilarating for me,” said the soft-spoken McNeill. “I wasn’t surprised by my all-around ranking. Not at all. I’ve always known I had this ability, I just had to show it.”
And McNeill plans to be showing it for a long while yet.
McNeill, who calls himself a “full time gymnast,” says he never considered retiring after graduating from college. “Now, the only question is, do I go until 2016?” he stated emphatically.
The following videos come from the 2009 National Championships.
Floor Exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOyrahr_Drs
High Bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umJs5pn36Aw
Pommel Horse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03jiVN2_cTM