April 18, 2013
The NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championship has not even started yet, but one Gopher has already been recognized for his hard work. Junior Nathan Fortunato was honored with the Elite 89 award this evening at a pre-championship banquet.
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships.
Fortunato, who is from Bedford, Ohio, and was home-schooled before attending Minnesota, has a 4.00 GPA.
"This is a great honor for Nate," said Minnesota head coach Mike Burns. "It is nice to know that the hard work he puts in every day in the classroom and gym is appreciated. The Elite 89 is such a prestigious award and to be able to bring it home to Minnesota is an amazing honor for our program. Our guys put tremendous effort into their studies, and we also receive excellent academic support through the McNamara Academic Center."
The men's gymnastics team was honored earlier this week with the Outstanding Academic Team Award for small teams (21 student-athletes or less) at the Minnesota Scholar Athlete banquet.
The Gophers are in University Park, Pa., this weekend where they are competing in the NCAA Men's Gymnastic Championship.
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