The University of Minnesota men’s gymnastics program has signed two student-athletes for the 2017-18 season, announced this week by head coach Mike Burns. Shane Wiskus and Russell Johnson have each signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to the Golden Gophers.
“With the decision of these two talented high school seniors to sign with us, I feel Minnesota Gymnastics has taken a step to the next level," Burns said. "The team culture we have created here was very attractive to both of these signees and I look forward to the future with great anticipation."
Shane Wiskus is a native of Spring Park, Minn. and competes for coach Doug Price at Mini-Hops Gymnastics in Plymouth, MN and attends Mound Westonka High School. Wiskus is a member of the USA Gymnastics Junior National Team and is considered the number one recruit in the nation. He was the junior national all-around champion at the 2016 P&G Championships as well as the national all-around champion at the 2016 Junior Olympic National Championships. At the P&G Championships he also was national champion on four events (FX,V,PB, & HB) while achieving vice-champion status on the other two events (PH & SR). Wiskus is the son of Mike and Tammy, and has three siblings (Annabelle, Dani, Andrew).
“A commitment from the number one recruit in the country is a game-changer for any program,” Burns said. “Having [Wiskus] stay in Minnesota is definitely a great day for our program. He is familiar with this team and his transition will be seamless. Shane not only won the all-around title at the 2016 P&G Championships but he dominated the field with one his greatest performances at the biggest meet of his career. He continues to improve and will be a force to be reckoned with at both the NCAA level as well as the USA National team level.”
Russell Johnson joins the Gophers from Indianapolis, Ind., where he trains with Deveau’s School of Gymnastics under Chad Ford, Aaron Schmitt and Jeff Greene. Johnson attends Perry Meridian High School where he is an Academic All-American. He is a three-time state champion, three-time regional champion, and competed at the 2016 P&G Championships as one of the top all-around gymnasts in the US Junior Program. He is the son of Agripina Sturgis, and has three older siblings (Nicole, Jessica, James). Johnson plans to major in biomedical engineering.
“Russell is a gymnast we feel has an amazing amount of untapped potential,” Burns said. “He’s a great addition to our program and I am confident that he will have an immediate impact of the success of our program. We’re excited not only about his athletic ability, but his academic acumen as well.”
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