While junior Shane Wiskus and senior Timmy Kutyla's final season together ended on an unexpected and disappointing note, the Gopher men's gymnastics co-captains received some good news last week as the College Gymnastics Association honored them as All-Americans.
For the two-year captain Kutyla, it was his first career All-American award. Despite the circumstances of the early season cancellation, it was a near-perfect ending for Kutyla, who had the best year of his career and won his first event title earlier this season.
Kutyla ended the season ranked No. 4 in the country on the high bar with a national qualifying average of 13.833. This award capped off an impressive finish to his career with Minnesota. Kutyla set new career-highs on both parallel bars and high bars with a 14.200 and 14.000, respectively, in the same meet. He also finished with four podium finishes on high bar.
Wiskus' new All-American awards bring his career total nine, though he knows there will be an asterisk.
In any normal year, the All-American honors would've been given based on results at the NCAA Championships. With the Championships canceled, the CGA gave them based on full season results.
“It’s nice to get something from the season and it’s nice to get some recognition for what we lost this season,” Wiskus said. “But in the same sense, I’ve always been a big NCAA competitor so these [awards] feel a little less important than if I had actually earned them at the competition.”
Wiskus was able to add to his already impressive resume this season. He finished as the top-ranked all-around gymnast in the country with a national qualifying average of 83.467. He also finished ranked No. 2 on parallel bars and No. 5 on rings. Wiskus averaged a career-high in all three.
In the four meets Wiskus competed in this season, he won seven different event titles and six more podium finishes. Though he had a remarkable season, the ending took more away from him, as a goal Wiskus has been working towards since he got to Minnesota is close to impossible now.
Gophers alumnus John Roethlisberger currently holds the record with 15 All-American awards — a record Wiskus had been hoping to break.
“I was kind of chasing that, but now with this whole season coming to the end, I don’t really get the chance. I can count those three regular season All-Americans towards the 12, but it won’t be recognized in the book unless it was done at an NCAA Championship,” Wiskus said. “I was chasing this goal, but it’s kind of out the window now, but like I said before, it is still nice to have something.”