Photo: Russell Johnson and Shane Wiskus
The University of Minnesota men’s gymnastics program had all four of its incoming freshmen compete at the Junior Olympic National Championships this past weekend in Kissimmee, Fla. Two future Gophers won national titles in the all-around competitions and combined for six titles in total.
Shane Wiskus (Spring Park, Minn.) was named the All-Around National Champion for the second-straight year in the Level 10 Junior Elite Division, and also won titles on pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar. While future Golden Gopher Colton Dee (Nampa, Idaho) took home the honor in the Level 10 Junior Olympic Division, he also took home gold on parallel bars.
Both the JE and JO Divisions consisted of two competition days, with all-around scores tallied together from both sessions.
In the JE Division, Session I featured open ended scoring while Session II was scored on Technical Sequences on a 10.000 scoring base.
During prelims, Wiskus scored a 15.100 on floor exercise, 13.600 on pommel horse, 14.600 on still rings, 14.150 on vault, 14.900 on parallel bars and 15.250 on high bar for an impressive 87.600. In finals, Wiskus tallied a 9.450 on floor, 8.550 on pommel horse, 9.450 on rings, 9.600 on parallel bars and 9.450 on high bar for a 56.250. His combined all-around score was a 143.850.
Russell Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) was unable to compete in the all-around competition due to a healing wrist injury. He did compete in every event but pommel horse. In prelims, Johnson scored a 12.800 on floor, 13.100 on rings, 13.150 on vault, 13.150 on parallel bars and 12.000 on high bar. During finals, he posted a 9.200 on floor, 8.450 on rings, 9.300 on vault, 8.250 on parallel bars and 8.600 on high bar.
The JO Division featured open ended scoring in both sessions.
Dee notched a 79.300 on all-around during prelims with scores of 13.450 (floor), 11.550 (pommel horse), 13.850 (rings), 13.400 (vault), 13.800 (parallel bars), 13.250 (high bar). He improved his score in finals with an 80.650, scoring a 14.350 (floor), 12.750 (pommel horse), 14.500 (rings), 13.550 (vault), 13.700 (parallel bars) and 11.800 (high bar). His combined score was a 159.950. Dee also tied for silver on rings.
Henry Meeker (Minneapolis, Minn.) earned a strong fourth-place finish in the JO Division, earning top-five scores on pommel horse and parallel bars. Meeker scored a 78.000 in prelims and 77.650 in finals. Meeker posted a combined score of 157.250.
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