CGA Honors Gophers for Academics
Nathan Fortunato

Aug. 4, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS - The College Gymnastics Association has released its list of 2014 CGA All-America Scholar Athletes, and the Gophers were well-represented with 13 gymnasts appearing on the first or second team. Minnesota also had the third-highest team grade point average in the nation with a 3.332 GPA.

The high marks for the Gophers continue a recent trend for the program, which has seen the Gophers place in the top three for team GPA in three of the last four years.

"We take the academic success of our student-athletes very seriously, and it's always a pleasure to see the success our athletes have in the classroom as well as in the gym," Gophers men's gymnastics coach Mike Burns said.

The Gophers had six representatives on the All-America first team, with 77 athletes receiving the distinction for earning a GPA of 3.500 or higher. Senior Nathan Fortunato was listed as one of just four gymnasts to maintain a 4.000 GPA, and joining him on the first team were teammates Sean Bauer, Steffen Beck, Jack Metcalf, Spencer Smith and Sam Wright.

It was the second first-team selection for Fortunato, who was honored as the 2014 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Elite 89 Award recipient as well. Bauer and Smith both earned their third first-team selections in 2014, while Metcalf earned his second. Beck, who also graduated this spring, finished his career with one first-team and one second-team selection.

Among the 63 second-team honorees, with a GPA between 3.499 and 3.200, were Gophers Zack Chase, Daniel DiBenedetto, Steve Jaciuk, Adam Kern, Ellis Mannon, Justin Morinishi and John Scallon.

Overall, the Gophers have had 40 gymnasts honored by the College Gymnastics Association for academics since the organization began awarding the Scholar-Athlete distinction in 1990. Those 40 gymnasts earned a total of 57 first-team selections and 35 second-team selections for the Maroon and Gold during their time at Minnesota.

CGA First Team All-America Scholar-Athletes

Nathan Fortunato (4.0 grade point average)
Sean Bauer
Steffen Beck
Jack Metcalf
Spencer Smith
Sam Wright

CGA Second Team All-America Scholar-Athletes

Zack Chase
Daniel DiBenedetto
Steve Jaciuk
Adam Kern
Ellis Mannon
Justin Morinishi
John Scallon

Final Team Standings

1. William and Mary, 3.622
2. Stanford, 3.368
3. Minnesota, 3.332
4. Navy, 3.304
5. Springfield, 3.249
6. Nebraska, 3.207
7. Michigan, 3.105
8. Oklahoma, 3.097
9. Temple, 3.080
10. Penn State, 3.024





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