Oct. 8, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The Gopher men’s gymnastics team has named junior Steve Jaciuk (New Berlin, Wis.) team captain for the 2014 season.
“Steve is a natural born leader with a real desire for excellence,” head coach Mike Burns said. “He can't stand mediocrity, and he performs with a real burning desire to succeed. His ability to help his teammates rise to the occasion is a real tribute to what drives him daily.”
Jaciuk set career highs on rings (15.150), parallel bars (15.450) and high bar (15.350) as a sophomore. The New Berlin, Wis., native finished third on the high bar at the 2013 Big Ten Championships with a score of 15.000. He was honored as academic All-Big Ten last season.
“To be named captain is a lot of responsibility, but I think this year means new and big things for our team,” Jaciuk said. “Practice has been going great. The guys have a lot of energy in the gym. Everyone is really focused. We’re hungry for success this year, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”
The Gophers began fall practice in mid-September and have already made significant strides. Three new gymnasts joined Minnesota this year, and the team returns 14 letterwinners from last year’s third place Big Ten squad.
“I’m trying to implement some new ideas. Our overall work ethic has definitely paid off. Since last year, we’ve done a lot better,” Jaciuk said. “Last year was the first time we made podium at Big Tens since 2007, and I just want to capitalize on that and do even bigger and better things this year.”
Minnesota opens the 2014 season with the Alumni Meet on Saturday, Jan. 11.
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