The Gophers have four freshmen on this year’s roster. This week meet Indianapolis, Ind. native Russell Johnson. Johnson is an Academic All-American from Perry Meridian High School and a regional and Indiana state champion. He competed at the 2016 P&G Championships as one of the top all-around gymnasts in the US Junior Program. He scored a 15.0 on rings at nationals as a junior and an 84.35 in the all-around.
Gopher Sports: How is your time on campus so far? Anything surprise you?
Russell Johnson: My time on campus has been great so far. I can feel myself growing as both an intellectual and a gymnast. Nothing has surprised me thus far; it feels like high school but with a bit more effort and freedom.
GS: What are you most looking forward to in your first school year and season?
RJ: I’m looking forward to putting in the effort to ace tests and finals; there is beauty in the struggle. Season wise, I am looking forward to representing Gopher men’s gymnastics in a way that’s never been done before, and helping this team to its much-deserved heights and respects.
GS: What has it been like to meet your teammates? Who is the funniest teammate so far?
RJ: I loved meeting my teammates. I always checked them out on Instagram and thought that their culture was unmatched. I love this team. The funniest teammate this far is Michael Harris, in my opinion.
GS: What is your favorite gymnastics event?
RJ: My favorite event would have to pommel horse because of how unique and different it is from the other events. When I swing pommels, it feels like I’m strategically dancing.
GS: Favorite gymnastics memory?
RJ: Competing on the podium for the first time at P&G champs.
GS: What do you enjoy doing outside of gymnastics?
RJ: Talking to my family and friends, reading, meditating, expressing creativity – taking pictures, painting and writing.
GS: What is one thing Gopher fans should know about you?
RJ: I love you, Mom.
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Freshman Spotlight: Russell Johnson
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Russell Johnson is an Academic All-American from Perry Meridian High School and a regional and Indiana state champion.