July 10, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team will welcome nine new freshmen to campus this fall, filling the void left by eight seniors departing the program following the 2014 season.
One of the many talented recruits the Gophers are adding to their roster is Jalon Stephens. Stephens will head north to join the Gophers from Shreveport, La. Before joining the Gophers, Stephens competed with Jill's Gymnastics (GymS'port) for coach Sean Keef.
How did you first get into gymnastics?
I was always flipping in the house and because my mother didn't want me to get hurt, she put me in gymnastics.
What other sports did you play growing up?
I played basketball and soccer, but gymnastics was the only sport that stood out to me.
How did you end up choosing the U?
I chose the U because I believe that I can be a great part of the plan Coach Burns has. I saw winning teams here and thought that I could help turn Minnesota into the top team in the country. I also love the campus and the library. I felt like I was at home when I went to the U, so I felt it was the best fit.
What is your favorite event?
My favorite event is horizontal bar.
Do you have a major or career field in mind?
Yes, I plan to major in kinesiology.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like going to church, singing and walking.
What are your pre-meet or pre-routine rituals?
I always get my teammates and other teams in a circle and we pray before the meet. I started it three years ago, and no one has ever been hurt at a meet since we started doing this.
What are you most looking forward to about Gopher men's gymnastics?
I am looking forward to training with the top coaches in the country. I am also looking forward to pursuing my dreams of being on the Senior National Team and helping Minnesota win a Big Ten and NCAA title.
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