Epperson, King Grab All-America Honors
West Point, N.Y. --- Austin Epperson and Kyle King claimed All-America awards on Saturday night at the 2017 NCAA Championships, capping off an incredible season for the Nebraska men's gymnastics team. In addition, Epperson grabbed a runner-up finish on floor with a score of 14.60. The Allen, Texas, native ends his Husker career with two All-American accolades, after claiming one on floor in 2016. King brought home his first All-America honor after finishing fifth on floor with 14.45.
As a team, Nebraska finished sixth with 412.900, marking its best team finish since 1999. Oklahoma claimed its third consecutive team title with a score of 431.950. Ohio State earned second place (423.700), while Illinois placed third (422.100). Stanford earned fourth with 421.500 and Minnesota earned fifth with 414.200.
In the individual competition, Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) claimed the floor title and the still rings title, while Penn State's Stephen Nedorosci took first on pommel horse. Michigan's Anthony McCallum earned back-to-back vault titles in 2016 and 2017. Akash Modi from Stanford placed first on parallel bars for the second consecutive year and took first in the all-around, while fellow Cardinal Robert Neff grabbed the high bar title.
The Huskers began the night on still rings. Jordan King led the team after posting a new season-high score of 14.05 - more than 0.5 higher than his previous season-best score on the event. Heath Anderson helped the team with 13.85, along with Austin Epperson (13.55), Chris Stephenson (13.40) and Sanjaya Roy (13.30). Anton Stephenson, competing in the all-around earned 12.30. As a team, the Huskers scored 68.15, putting them in fifth place after one rotation.
Nebraska moved to vault where the team scored 70.70. With this mark, NU scored at least 70.0 on vault every meet this season. Anton Stephenson scored highest for the Huskers with 14.60. Daniel Leal stuck his landing and was rewarded with 14.50. Chris Stephenson and Connor Adamsick recorded 14.25 and 14.00, respectively, while Kyle King pitched in 13.35. After two rotations, Nebraska remained in fifth place behind Illinois, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Stanford and ahead of Minnesota.
On parallel bars, NU recorded its second-highest score of the season (70.40). Evan Hymanson had an impressive performance that earned him his second-highest score of the season (14.00). Anton Stephenson (14.15), Chris Stephenson (14.20) and Daniel Leal (14.25) each posted scores over 14.0, while Austin Epperson pitched in 13.80.
Nebraska held fifth place halfway through the meet with a score of 209.250, but was within two points of second-place Stanford (211.00), third-place Illinois (210.700) and fourth-place Ohio State (210.150). Oklahoma was in first with a score of 214.800, while Minnesota was in sixth with 203.850.
The Big Red rotated to high bar. Jordan King paved the way with 13.30, followed by Anton Stephenson and Jake Bonnay who each notched 13.20. Antonio Castro earned 13.10, while Daniel Leal added 12.80. Chris Stephenson, competing in the all-around recorded 13.50. As a team, NU scored 65.60 and held steady in fifth place after the fourth rotation.
On floor, Nebraska put on a show, with each gymnast scoring more than 14.00. Epperson made his last routine as a Husker count, leading the way with 14.60. Kyle King and Chris Stephenson were not far behind, scoring 14.45 and 14.30, respectively. Adamsick notched 14.10, while Anton Stephenson scored 14.05. With one routine left, NU held the fifth-place spot.
NU ended the night on pommel horse (66.55). Kyle King earned a season-best score of 13.80. Jordan King added support with 13.70. Travis Gollott and Castro earned 13.15 and 13.00, respectively and Anton Stephenson added 12.90. All-around competitor, Chris Stephenson scored 13.20.
Chris and Anton Stephenson competed in the all-around for the Huskers. The pair finished with scores of 82.85 and 81.20, respectively.
This concludes the 2017 season for the Huskers. Nebraska will return all gymnasts except for seniors Austin Epperson and Coleman Tokar and junior Sanjaya Roy, who is leaving the program to attend graduate school in California. Kyle King and Anton Stephenson will return as All-Americans in 2018.