Schweihofer Wins B1G All-Around Title, NU Finishes Second
Champaign, Ill. - No. 14 Nebraska women’s gymnastics finished in second place at the Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill., earning a final team score of 196.950, its best score away-from-home this season. Michigan won the Big Ten Championship with a score of 197.200.
Through Session I, Nebraska was the team to beat in Session II, where six teams battled to top the Cornhuskers. Only Michigan could best Nebraska, winning the Big Ten Championship title, but the Huskers claimed or shared four of the five individual titles on the day. Megan Schweihofer won the Big Ten all-around title outright with a career-best score of 39.525. Schweihofer also shared the Big Ten floor title with Briannah Tsang of Penn State with a score of 9.95. Grace Williams shared the Big Ten balance beam title with Bridget Hodan of Illinois and Lauren Marinez of Michigan with a score of 9.90. Taylor Houchin shared the Big Ten vault title with Jamie Stone of Ohio State with a score of 9.90.
Michigan won the Big Ten Championships with a score of 197.200, while Nebraska earned the runner-up spot with a score of 196.950. Illinois finished third with a 196.625, and Iowa finished fourth with a score of 196.400. Ohio State finished fifth (196.375), Minnesota finished sixth (196.225), Penn State finished seventh (195.500), Maryland finished eighth (195.250), Rutgers finished ninth (194.400) and Michigan State rounded out the Championships in tenth (194.400).
The Huskers started out on vault, with lead-off Epperson posting a 9.65 and freshman Roby hitting a 9.60. Orel helped the Huskers get into their groove and posted a 9.85 to start a roll for the Big Red. Williams hit a 9.85 of her own before Nebraska exploded to move into the first team position of the afternoon session. Sienna Crouse posted a 9.90 floor score before Schweihofer tied her career high in the event to score a 9.95, helping the Huskers to an overall team score of 49.200.
Nebraska led the four teams of Session I after the first rotation, scoring a 49.200. Michigan State was close behind with a 49.100 on bars, and Penn State scored a 48.750 on vault. Rutgers rounded out the four teams with a 48.675 on beam.
On vault, Nebraska hit their third 9.90 score of the day when Taylor Houchin hit the score anchoring the lineup. Sienna Crouse hit a 9.85 while Epperson hit a 9.825. Schweihofer hit a 9.825 while Williams added a 9.75 and Roby scored a 9.65. Nebraska led all teams through two rotations with a 98.350.
Rutgers stood in second after floor with a score of 97.650, while Penn State was in third with a 97.575 through bars, and Michigan State scored a 97.275 after floor.
Nebraska had their best bars meet of the season, scoring a 49.375 on the event, their previous best score was a 49.325, set at the Masters Classic. The event came together when Taylor Houchin tied her season high with a score of 9.90, Schweihofer tied her season-high with a 9.90, and Crouse tied her career-high with a 9.925. Adding to the success, Orel scored a 9.80, Roby hit a 9.85 and Epperson added a 9.775.
Nebraska led the afternoon session with a total of 147.725 through three rotations, while Rutgers was in second with a 146.200 through vault. Penn State sat in third through three rotations with a 146.100 through beam, while Michigan State had 146.075.
On balance beam, Roby hit a 9.75 to start for the Huskers before Crouse missed her routine on the beam and scored a 9.25. Schweihofer brought back the energy for Nebraska with a 9.85 before Houchin scored a season-high 9.875. Danielle Breen posted an impressive 9.85, before Williams stole the show. Williams, a senior, posted a score of 9.90 in her last Big Ten meet, sealing the Huskers’ first place position heading into Session II.
Nebraska finished the meet with a season-best away score of 196.950, just missing the elusive 197-mark. Penn State sits in second with a 195.500, while Rutgers scored a 194.400. Michigan State rounded out Session I with a 194.275.
All-Around and Awards
Schweihofer hit a career-high 39.525 in the all-around, tying her season-high on bars with a 9.825 and her career-high on floor with a 9.95. She added a 9.85 on beam and a 9.825 on vault to reach her best all-around score of 39.525. Also in the all-around, Crouse posted a 38.925 and Roby hit a 38.850.
Schweihofer’s all-around Big Ten Championship title is a first for the Huskers since 2013, when Emily Wong achieved the feat. The last time the Huskers won at least four individual conference titles was also in 2013, when Nebraska swept all the individual conference champion titles. Nebraska did not win any individual titles in 2017. Notably, Sienna Crouse finished fourth on bars and floor, scoring a 9.925, the highest score out of Session I at the Championships. Houchin and Schweihofer tied for sixth on bars. Crouse also tied for fourth overall on vault, while Houchin also tied fourth on beam. Schweihofer and Danielle Breen tied sixth on beam.
Four Nebraska gymnasts were named to the Big Ten All-Championships team, the most from any university. Grace Williams, Sienna Crouse, Taylor Houchin and Megan Schweihofer add the honor to their decorated Husker careers.
The conference named Brett Nelligan of Maryland the Big Ten Coach of the Year and Lexy Ramler of Minnesota the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Briannah Tsang of Penn State and Paige Zaziski of Michigan were named the Big Ten Co-Gymnasts of the Year.
Nebraska will await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, March 26 at 3 p.m. CT, where regional selections will be announced. Nebraska could head to one of six regional sites on April 7: Salt Lake City, Utah; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Raleigh, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; University Park, Pa.; and Minneapolis, Minn.
Big Ten Championships
March 24, 2018
Champaign, Ill. State Farm Center
1. Michigan, 197.200
2. Nebraska, 196.950
3. Illinois, 196.625
4. Iowa, 196.400
5. Ohio State, 196.375
6. Minnesota, 196.225
7. Penn State, 195.500
8. Maryland 195.520
9. Rutgers 194.400
10. Michigan State 194.275
T1. Taylor Houchin, Nebraska, 9.90
T1. Jamie Stone, Ohio State, 9.90
3. Charlotte Sullivan
T1. Brianna Brown, Michigan, 9.95
T1. Ivy Lu, Minnestoa, 9.95
T1. Olivia Aepli, Ohio State, 9.95
T4. Sienna Crouse, Nebraska 9.925
T4. Karen Howell, Illinois, 9.925
T1. Grace Williams, Nebraska 9.90
T1. Bridget Hodan, Illinois, 9.90
T1. Lauren Marinez, Michigan, 9.90
T4. Lauren Farley, Michigan, 9.875
T4. Taylor Houchin, Nebraska, 9.875
T1. Megan Schweihofer, Nebraska, 9.95
T1. Briannah Tsang, Penn State 9.95
3. Alexis Mattern, Ohio State, 9.925
- Megan Schweihofer, Nebraska 39.525
- Paige Zaziski, Michigan, 39.500
- Brianna Brown, Michigan, 39.450
Taylor Houchin, Nebraska
Sienna Crouse, Nebraska
Grace Williams, Nebraska
Megan Schweihofer, Nebraska
Bridget Hodan, Illinois
Charlotte Sullivan, Iowa
Brianna Brown, Michigan
Lauren Marinez, Michigan
Paige Zaziski, Michigan
Ivy lu, Minnesota
Olivia Aepli, Ohio State
Alexis Mattern, Ohio State
Jamie Stone, Ohio State
Briannah Tsang, Penn State
Big Ten Individual Awards
Co-Gymnasts of the Year: Briannah Tsang, Penn State/ Paige Zaziski, Michigan
Freshman of the Year: Lexy Ramler, Minnesota
Coach of the Year: Brett Nelligan, Maryland