HOUSTON – The gymnasts competing at the at the 2005 Men’s Junior Olympic (J.O.) National Championships this week in Houston are not only great athletes but also outstanding students. Out of the approximately 1,000 high school-age competitive male gymnasts across the U.S., more than 350 qualified for USA Gymnastics’ Academic All-American recognition in 2005.

Academic All-Americans must have a 3.5 Grade Point Average or better, submit a letter of recommendation from both their coach and a teacher or counselor and write a biographical sketch to be eligible.
The Academic All-American Recognition Awards were first given out 16 years ago, and the number of honorees continue to grow every year in each of the three categories: First Team (3.85 GPA or better), Second Team (3.7-3.84) and Honorable Mention (3.5-3.69). This year saw a record 143 gymnasts earn First Team status.
“These gymnasts are not only phenomenal athletes, but dedicated students,” said USA Gymnastics Men’s Program Manager Bo Morris said. “Their hard work and dedication in the gym carries over into the classroom.”
The athlete’s dedication was exemplified by Nebraska School of Gymnastics’ T.J. Schmidt who is missing his high school graduation to compete at the J.O. Championships. During last night’s opening ceremony, Schmidt received his high school diploma from Senior Director Men’s Program Ron Galimore.
Many of the athletes in Houston are also splitting their time between the gym and the classroom. Dozens of gymnasts received special permission to take their Advanced Placement (AP) tests this weekend in Houston instead of their own hometowns. (This Saturday marks the national day for AP testing.)



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