Daniel

Leal

DanielLealZoom
All-Around
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 145
Year: Senior
Hometown: Cali, Colombia
High School: UNICAB
Club: Indigo
Major: Marketing

Bio

Daniel Leal Photo Gallery

Honors & Awards

  • 2017 NCAA Team Qualifier & Finals Competitor (Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar)
  • 2017 NCAA Individual (Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar)
  • 2017 Men's Gymastics Hardest Worker Award
  • 2016 NCAA Team Qualifier Competitor (Parallel Bars, High Bar)
  • 2016 Big Ten Medalist (Parallel Bars, Silver)
  • Second Team All-Big Ten (2016)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2016, 2017)
  • Second-Team CGA All-America Scholar-Athlete (2016, 2017)
  • Individual Title (Parallel Bars, 1/23/16)
  • 2015 NCAA Team Qualifier Competitor (Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2014, 2015, 2016; Spring 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award (2017)
  • Nebraska Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award (2017)
  • Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Individual Title (Parallel Bars, 1/14/16)
  • Individual Title (Rings, 1/30/15)
  • Individual Title (Parallel Bars, 1/30/15)

Career Bests

  • Floor - 14.05 (vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 21, 2017)
  • Pommel Horse - 14.20 (vs. Army, Jan. 30, 2015)
  • Still Rings - 14.20 (three times, most recently at Minnesota/Iowa, Feb. 14, 2015)
  • Vault - 14.85 (vs. Minnesota, March 25, 2017)
  • Parallel Bars - 15.425 (at Big Ten Championships, April 2, 2016)
  • High Bar - 14.70 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)
  • All-Around - 85.40 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)

2018 (Season Outlook)
As a senior, Daniel Leal will be looked to for leadership both inside and outside the gym. He is expected to maintain a solid role in the lineups on vault, parallel bars and high bar for the Huskers as a senior. Leal could also be in the hunt to replace two-time All-American Austin Epperson on floor, as Leal competed twice on that event as a junior. After taking home the silver medal on parallel bars at the 2016 Big Ten Championships, Leal looks to cap is Husker career with another Big Ten medal and an All-America honor in 2018. 

Leal will be a leader in the classroom for the team as well. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2016 and 2017 and is a six-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll. Addionally, Leal is expected to continue making an impact in the community as he is a three-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team and claimed the Nebraska Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award in 2017. 

2017 (Junior)
Leal became a consistent member on vault, parallel bars and high bar for the Huskers as a junior. He competed in every competition on those three events. He posted career-high scores on both floor (14.05) and vault (14.85), despite the new "Code of Points" prior to the 2017 season that typically lowers scores by .5.  He held the anchor spot on parallel bars and was part of a vault lineup that proved to be one of the Huskers' top events, as it was the only event that the team scored 70.0 or more each meet of the season. He also appeared twice on floor for the Huskers. Leal was rewarded for his efforts in the gym at the annual end-of-the-year banquet, earning the Hardest Worker Award from his coaches and his teammates.

Leal was impressive outside the gym for Nebraska as well. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2016-17. Additionally, he earned one of the first-ever Nebraska Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Awards, named after the late Nebraska punter, for his outstanding contributions to the community. Leal was also a member of the 2017 Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.  

2017 Season Highs

  • Floor - 14.05 (vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 21, 2017)
  • Vault - 14.85 (vs. Minnesota, March 25, 2017)
  • Parallel Bars - 14.60 (at West Point Open, Jan. 13, 2017)
  • High Bars - 14.05 (vs Iowa/Penn State, March 4, 2017)

*Scoring changes were made prior to the 2017 season. There are now four different element groups instead of five, meaning that a gymnast can only receive 2.0 instead of 2.5 in that category. This typically lowers scores by .5.

2016 (Sophomore)
Leal built off an impressive first season at Nebraska in his sophomore season, becoming one of NU's top performers on parallel bars and high bar. He competed on both events every meet for Nebraska in 2016.

Leal occasionally competed on still rings and vault as well, and in the home opener, he competed in the all-around for Nebraska.

Leal had great success in the postseason as well. The Cali, Colombia, native competed at the Big Ten Championships and advanced to the finals on parallel bar. He notched a career-high 15.425 at the finals and earned second place overall for his performance. It was his first Big Ten medal. Additionally, he was named second-team All-Big Ten for his showing at the conference championships.

At the 2016 NCAA Championships, Leal competed on parallel bars and high bars and helped the team to a seventh-place national finish - it's best since 1999.

In the classroom and in the community, Leal made significant strides, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors, while being named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2015-16. He also earned a spot on the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2016.

2016 Season Highs

  • Floor - 13.30 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)
  • Pommel Horse - 13.95 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)
  • Still Rings - 14.10 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)
  • Vault - 14.80 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)
  • Parallel Bars - 15.425 (at Big Ten Finals, April 1, 2016)
  • High Bar - 14.70 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)
  • All-Around - 85.40 (vs. Air Force, Jan. 23, 2016)

2015 (Freshman) 
An international standout, Leal immediately shined in his first collegiate season despite a minor injury setback mid-season. He competed in five of the six events over the course of the season, with major contributions on rings and high bar.

Leal proved to be a vital member of the Huskers' rings squad, earning a career-high 14.20 twice as a freshman. At the home opener Jan. 30 against Army, Leal won his first event title on rings with a 14.20.

On high bar, Leal helped the Huskers find success by delivering clean, consistent routines. Despite sitting out the last two regular-season meets and the Big Ten Championships with an injury, Leal came back at the NCAA Championships to post a season-best 14.10 at the team qualifier competition.

In the classroom, Leal earned spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2014-15.

2015 Season Highs

  • Pommel Horse - 14.20 (vs. Army, Jan. 30, 2015)
  • Still Rings - 14.20 (three time, most recently at Iowa/Minnesota, Feb. 14, 2015)
  • Vault - 14.60 (at NCAA Prelims, April 9, 2015)
  • Parallel Bars - 14.75 (at Minnesota/UIC, Feb. 7, 2015)
  • High Bar - 14.10 (at NCAA Prelims, April 9, 2015)

Before Nebraska
Leal trained at Liga Nortesantandereana de Gimnasia in Colombia under coaches Jairo Ruiz and Juan Manuel Corzo. In 2013, Leal moved to Dunellen, N.J., to train at Indigo Gymnastics Center with coaches Juan Agudelo and Roger Walker.

At the 2013 Region 7 Championships, Leal took home the high bar crown in the junior men's ages 17-18 division, earning a score of 15.05 on the event. He also grabbed second-place finishes on pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and in the all-around.

As a Colombian gymnast, Leal was the champion on pommel horse and high bar at the 2009 Junior South American Games. He was also a member of the Colombian National Team beginning in 2009.

Leal graduated with honors from UNICAB in Colombia in 2012.

Personal  
The son of Hemberth Leal and Stella Restrepo, Daniel was born on April 8, 1995 in Cali, Colombia. He has one sister, Luisa, who was a gymnast at Rutgers.

Leal is majoring in marketing and minoring in economics and is a six-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll. He chose Nebraska because of its academic excellence and rich program tradition.

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Nebraska Men's Gymnastics Press Conference - April 3rd
Chuck Chmelka Press Conference - April 3rd
N'Side Nebraska - April 11, 2016 - Ethan Lottman