Minnesota Inks Four Future Gymnasts The University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team has signed on four high school seniors to join the squad as freshmen next fall.
The University of Minnesota men's gymnastics team has signed on four high school seniors to join the squad as freshmen next fall.
The four athletes that have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Gophers hail from all across the United States and include Steve Jacuik (New Berlin, WI), Sean Bauer (St. Louis, MO), Spencer Smith (Olympia, WA) and Donnie Carper (Hollis, NH).
"I can't tell you how excited I am to sign this group of student-athletes to join our program next fall," Minnesota head coach Mike Burns said. "Finding the right combination of gymnastics talent and academic ability is always a challenge but I think we really come out strong with this crop of prospects."
Steve Jacuik (New Berlin, WI) is a senior at New Berlin Eisenhower High School and is a member of the Swiss Turners Gymnastics club where he has competed for several years in the state and region under the tutelage of Andre Kan, Alex Belanovski, and Stacy Maloney.
Jacuik has been the recipient of several awards including being named state and regional champion four times. He has also earned All-American Academic accolades and was named Swiss Turners' most dedicated gymnast.
"Steve attended our summer camp last year and made a huge impression on the coaching staff after sitting out his junior year with a back injury," Burns said. "I believe Steve has the skills to be an amazing collegiate gymnast and we are excited to have him joining us here at Minnesota."
Sean Bauer (St. Louis, MO) is a senior at DeSmet Jesuit High School and is coached by Mike Filla at the St. Louis Gymnastics Centre. He will be joining his former club teammate Yoshi Morinishi when he joins the Gophers.
Bauer has already won a multitude of awards including four-time All-American Academic and second place in both the 2008 and 2010 Missouri State Championships.
"Sean Bauer is another great student, and will bring our program added depth on floor exercise, vault, and still rings but he is a solid all around gymnast as well," Burns said. "As another USAG First Team Academic All-American, Sean brings a strong academic resume along with his gymnastics accomplishments."
Spencer Smith (Olympia, WA) is a senior at Insight School of Washington and competes at Metropolitan Gymnastics. He has been coached by Bob Young, Jan Liu and PJ Chi.
Spencer qualified for the 2010 Visa Championships as a junior gymnast. He also placed first in state in earlier this year, as well as second in regional competition.
"I envision Spencer being a major contributor on the pommel horse, parallel bars and the horizontal bar as a freshman," Burns said. "He is also a USA Gymnastics First Team Academic All-American for the last three years."
Donnie Carper (Hollis, NH) is a senior a Hollis/Brookline High School and competes for Gymnastics Village under the guidance of Igor Kniazev.
Carper has been a big part of the Region 6 Regional team over the last few years and helped lead the squad to a fifth place team finish at the 2010 Junior Nationals. He has also earned USAG First Team Academic All-American accolades three times.
"Donnie was the first recruit to commit to Minnesota this fall and he will be counted on heavily on his strongest events - parallel bars, high bar, and still rings," Burns said. "He will be a great addition to the program.