Junior Robbie Kocks broke the Nebraska school record on rings, which he set earlier this season.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Kocks Grabs First Big Ten Medal of Career

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln, Neb. - Two members of the Nebraska men's gymnastics team qualified for the individual competition of the Big Ten Championships on Saturday afternoon. The top ten highest scoring athletes on each event Friday night qualified to participate in the individual competition at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Junior Robbie Kocks led the Huskers, claiming third place in the still rings competition. Junior and former All-American on floor Grant Perdue finished fifth on floor.

Kocks' dominant performance on rings earned him second-team All-Big Ten honors, the only conference award received by the Huskers. Senior C.J. Schaaf received a 2014 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

The night began with floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings. Kocks kicked off the night for Nebraska on rings, performing his routine in the fourth rotation. The eighth-ranked junior performed one of his strongest routines of the season, finishing to a standing ovation. Kocks earned a 15.600, breaking the school record which he set earlier this season and placing him in third overall.

Perdue finished out the afternoon for the Huskers, waiting until the last rotation of the first half to compete on floor. Despite a strong performance, the junior struggled to stick the landing. He earned a 15.05 for his routine, placing him in fifth overall on the event.

Competitors then moved to vault, parallel bars and high bar, finishing out the final half of individual finals. The afternoon concluded with Big Ten conference individual awards, as well as the announcement of first and second-team honorees. Michigan Head Coach Kurt Golder received Coach of the Year honors, while Ohio State's Sean Melton was the recipient of the Freshman of the Year honors. Michigan's Sam Mikulak grabbed the Gymnast of the Year award.

The all-conference first team consisted of the top six all-around finishers, as well as the first place individual finisher in each event. Second team honors were given to the second and third place finishers in each event, excluding those who were already members of the first team.

The Huskers will now wait until next week to learn if they were accepted to the NCAA championships. The NCAA will announce its National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Selections next week on Tuesday at approximately 4 p.m. A total of 12 teams, 36 event specialists and six all-around competitors will be chosen for competition at this year's NCAA Men's Gymnastics championships, which will be held in Ann Arbor, Mich., on April 10-12 on the University of Michigan campus.

2014 Big Ten Championships
Individual Competition
Bob Devaney Sports Center
Lincoln, Neb.

Floor Exercise
Grant Perdue: 15.050 (5th)

Still Rings
Robbie Kocks: 15.600 (3rd)

Coach of the Year
Kurt Golder (Michigan)

Gymnast of the Year
Sam Mikulak (Michigan)

Freshman of the Year
Sean Melton (Ohio State)

First Team All-Big Ten
Chandler Eggleston (Illinois)
Sam Mikulak (Michigan)
Sean Melton (Ohio State)
Jake Martin (Ohio State)
C.J. Maestas (Illinois)
Trevor Howard (Penn State)
Ellis Mannon (Minnesota)

Second Team All-Big Ten
Tristan Perez-Rivera (Michigan)
Craig Hernandez (Penn State)
Chad Mason (Illinois)
Robbie Kocks (Nebraska)
Paul Rizkalla Jr. (Michigan)
Zack Chase (Minnesota)
Jordan Valdez (Illinois)
Syque Caesar (Michigan)

Sportsmanship Award Winners
C.J. Maestas (Illinois)
Mark Springett (Iowa)
Adrian de los Angeles (Michigan)
Yoshi Morinishi (Minnesota)
C.J. Schaaf (Nebraska)
Alex Johnson (Ohio State)
Preston Gall (Penn State)


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