As the University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team prepares for its meet on Friday at Iowa, Gophers' sophomore Josh Wokurka sat down with GopherSports.com to discuss his experience at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev. as well as reflect on Minnesota's season thus far and his outlook for the rest of the year.
GopherSports.com: You finished the all-around in third-place in session one at the Winter Cup, placing 42nd overall that category, what are some of your key takeaways from that event?
Josh Wokurka: It was a good experience for me. I got to see a lot of good gymnastics, both collegiate and some elite gymnasts that have competed in the Olympics. It's good to see so many top performing gymnasts because it really gives me something to strive for.
GopherSports.com: What was it like to be able to compete against some of the best gymnasts in the country at the Winter Cup?
Josh Wokurka: It can get a little intimidating at times, but overall everyone is very nice and I got a chance to talk to a lot of the guys out there.
GopherSports.com: Does competing on a stage like that give you any additional drive to continue to better yourself as a gymnast?
Josh Wokurka: I think it's a dream for every gymnast to get to that level and when I see some guys that have competed in the Olympics it really encourages me to work hard and continually try to better myself.
GopherSports.com: You missed all of the 2010 season due to injury, what has the road back from that been like?
Josh Wokurka: It was a tough road getting back. It was a bummer not competing my freshman year, but I recovered very well and my knee feels like I never hurt it in the first place.
GopherSports.com: Do you feel like you are starting to get back to full strength?
Josh Wokurka: Yeah, there are some gymnasts have trouble competing on the floor and vault after ACL surgery, but I came back 100 percent and I've been ready to go since the start of this season.
GopherSports.com: The Winter Cup was the first time you have competed in the all-around since joining the Gophers, do you hope to continue pursuing competing in the all-around for Minnesota?
Josh Wokurka: Yeah, one of my main goals is to compete in the all-around into the future. If I just keep doing what I'm doing, hopefully I'll get to that level.
GopherSports.com: This season's Gophers have already had a couple of strong showings including solid performances at the Winter Classic and at home against Nebraska and Illinois, but also had a tough trip to Oklahoma, what is your impression of this team so far this year?
Josh Wokurka: We're a young team with a lot of freshman, but luckily they've come through for us in a number of ways. This is a very tight group of guys, so if one guy falls, another guy gets up and hits his routine. We work very well together as a team.
GopherSports.com: What in your opinion do you and your teammates need to do to finish the season strong?
Josh Wokurka: Just to continue what have been doing. We've been doing multiple routines in the gym and hitting multiple sets and I think we've been moving in a positive direction. If we keep that up, we'll be in great shape by the end of the season.
Interview by Keith Beise, Athletic Communications Assistant