The No. 10 Nebraska men’s gymnastics team will travel to Penn Station, Penn., to compete in the 2013 NCAA Championships. All seven of the Big Ten men’s gymnastics teams will be attending the championships, as they are all ranked within the top 10 nationally, with Penn State holding the top spot. The championships will kick off on April 19 with the two team qualifier sessions. Three teams from each session will qualify for the team finals, which will be held on April 20 at 7 p.m. Gymnasts who qualify for the all-around finals will also compete on April 20. The top-scoring athletes on each event will transfer to the individual event finals, which will be held on April 21 at 2 p.m. All three nights of competition will be held in the Recreation Building. All three nights will be broadcast via live stream on the Penn State website. Fans who can’t make it to the meet can also follow the Huskers on Twitter (@NebraskaMGym) or on Facebook (facebook.com/NebraskaMGym) for live updates from the meet and behind-the-scenes content throughout the weekend.
The Huskers will join No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 7 Illinois and No. 11 Air Force in the first session. Nebraska faced four of the five other teams in regular-season competition. NU only faced Michigan at the Big Ten Championships last weekend in Minneapolis.
The second qualifier will begin at 7 p.m. CST on Thursday night and will consist of No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 California and No. 12 Temple.
Nebraska Keeps No. 10 Another Week
Despite difficulties at the Big Ten Championships, the Huskers held on to their No. 10 spot in the GymInfo national rankings. Nebraska came out of the conference championships in the top ten on five of the six events, dropping to 14th on pommel horse. The Huskers stayed within the top five on parallel bars, finishing out the week fifth after Sam Chamberlain’s individual finals performance.
Sophomores Grant Perdue and Louis Klein continued to hold on to their positions in the floor rankings. Perdue’s qualifying performance of 15.50 boosted him up to No. 7 nationally, while Klein’s routine dropped him to a tied hold of the No. 19 spot.
All three of the Huskers’ individual finalists finished out the conference championships in the top 20 on their aparatuses. Perdue moved to fifth-ranked in the nation on vault, while Sam Chamberlain jumped to eighth on parallel bars. Klein entered the high bar rankings after his second-place finish at Big Ten Championships. He now sits at No. 11 on the event.
Teammate Mark Ringle held on to his top-20 ranking on parallel bars, dropping to No. 19 with an average of 14.575. Junior CJ Schaaf remained in the all-around rankings, moving up to No. 10 even though his average score dropped slightly to 82.137.
Scouting the Competition
All seven Big Ten teams are ranked within the top 10 nationally, according to the latest GymInfo poll, released April 8. Nebraska hold a team average of 423.350, putting them just over a point behind No. 9 California. The Huskers will face all six of the Big Ten schools they faced two weeks ago, along with No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 4 Stanford, No. 9 California, No. 11 Air Force and No. 13 Temple.
Last Time Out: Huskers Stumble at Conference Championships
The No. 10 Nebraska men’s gymnastics team struggled to gain their footing Friday night in the team and all-around finals of the Big Ten Championships. The Huskers finished with a team score of 416.250, their lowest of the season.
NU started off the night on high bar, where they struggled to break 14.00. Sophomore Louis Klein lead the team, posting a 14.35. The Utica, Mich., native tied for sixth overall on the event, pushing him into the event finals Saturday. The team finished with a total of 69.200, tying for fourth with Penn State.
The Huskers then moved to floor, where they regained some confidence. Klein (14.20) as well as juniors Wyatt Aycock (14.15) and Mark Ringle (14.40) helped pull up the team after a rough start. Reigning All-American Grant Perdue finished off the event for the Huskers with a strong routine, earning a 15.50. The sophomore finished off the night tied for first with Michigan’s Stacey Ervin, advancing him to the individual event finals.
Nebraska then faced a bye rotation. After their bye, the Huskers moved to pommel horse. NU faced their most difficult horse set of the season, earning an unremarkable 61.450.
Flustered by their fourth rotation, the Huskers moved to rings, where they regained some strength. Junior specialist Donovan Arndt lead Nebraska with a 14.75, just barely missing the cut for individual event finals. Sophomore Robbie Kocks followed close behind, earning a 14.70. The Huskers finished with a team score of 71.200, beating out Ohio State by 2.75 points.
NU’s sixth rotation - vault - brought the fight back as four of the five gymnasts earned scores above a 14.70 on the event. Sophomore Gabriel Jolley and junior Micah Christensen tied with scores of 14.80, placing them at 13 overall on the event. Perdue entered the night ranked sixth nationally on the event and proved his placement. He earned a 15.05 on his vault, placing him at eighth overall and moving him into the finals.
Nebraska finished the night on parallel bars, similar to their last regular season meet against reigning NCAA champions, Illinois. Junior all-arounder CJ Schaaf started the final rotation off strong, earning a 14.40 for his routine. Freshman Sam Chamberlain took the lead for the Huskers, posting a 15.00 on the event. The Franklin, Ohio native had entered the night ranked No. 13 nationally and ended up tying for fourth overall. He became the third Husker that would move on to the individual event finals.
Sophomore Louis Klein led the three individual finalists in the second night of competition, claiming second place in the high bar competition. Sophomore Grant Perdue finished third on vault and eighth on floor and freshman Sam Chamberlain finished third on parallel bars.
Klein’s dominant performance on high bar earned him second-team All-Big Ten honors, the only conference award received by the Huskers.Sophomore Gabriel Jolley received a 2013 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award also.