Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Experienced Huskers Hope To Return To NCAA Finals

By NU Athletic Communications

After a top-six national finish in the 2017 season and the program's best finish since 1999, the Nebraska men's gymnastics team is eager to build off that momentum in 2018.Nebraska hopes to advance to the NCAA Team Finals for the second year in a row, following a sixth-place finish.

Senior Leadership

With eight seniors, the class makes up over one third of the team. With significant experience, they will be looked to for leadership both in and outside of the gym.

Each senior has competed regularily in the lineups for the Huskers during their career.

Connor Adamsick appeared regularily on the floor for Nebraska. Adamsick scored a season-high 14.50 on floor and a 13.05 on pommel horse against Minnesota. As one of two team captains, he will be expected to play a crucial role for the Huskers.

Antonio Castro played a key role in the pommel horse lineup last season, competing in the event at every meet. Castro scored a season-high 14.90 against Minnesota. He also appeared on vault and high bars for Nebraska.

After coming off an injury in the 2016 season, Travis Gollott made his mark on pommel horse in 2017. He scored a season-best score of 13.85 on the event in 2017. Additionally, Gollott hopes to get back to competing in the all-around, after being limited to one event due to injuries the past two seasons. Gollott is one of three returning Huskers with significant all-around experience at the collegiate level.

All-American Kyle King played a significant role in the Husker lineup during the 2017 season. The Mesquite, Texas native competed in every meet last season and saw his most time on floor, pommel horse, vault and parallel bars. King earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, scoring a season-best score of 13.80.

 Daniel Leal 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 his Husker career with another Big Ten medal and an All-America honor in 2018.

Alex Magsam will compete on still rings and vault for the Huskers after appearing often on those events as a junior. Magsam earned a season-best score on still rings (13.55) against Oklahoma and a season-high score on vault (14.35) twice as a junior. Magsam also has experience competing on parallel bars and could help the Huskers on that event as well in 2018.

Brenon Sommers looks to become a more regular part of the still rings lineup as a senior, after being limited by an injury in 2017 and 2016. Sommers appeared five times in 2017 scoring a season-high 13.90. As a sophomore, he also competed five times, scoring a career-high score of 14.50. As a still rings specialist, a healthy Sommers would greatly benefit the Huskers on one of the team's lowest-scoring events.

Chris Stephenson emerged as a leader in the gym last season and is expected to continue that role in his final season at Nebraska. Stephenson returns in 2018 as the Huskers' only true all-around competitor from last season and appeared a team-high 63 times for the Huskers as a junior. Stephenson hit the 14.0 mark on all events except for pommel horse last season and looks to break the 15.00 as a senior. He set career highs on pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and in the all-around as a junior, despite the scoring change prior to the season that typically lowered scores by 0.5.

After earning NCAA Gymnast of the Week and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week in 2017, Stephenson hopes to cap off his Husker career by leading NU back to the team finals and capturing his first All-America award.

Junior Experience

Afer an impressive 2017 season on still rings, Heath Anderson is expected to compete regularly for the Huskers in 2018 on the event. Anderson has a good chance to be dubbed as the anchor spot, replacing two-time All-American Austin Epperson who graduated. Anderson provided a spark for the Huskers on an event that typically produced lower scores and is looking to continue to help the team improve on that event as a junior.

Joshua Everitt looks to bounce back from a season-ending injury last season and compete for a spot in the still rings lineup for the Huskers. The Tucson, Ariz., expects to play a regular role in Nebraska's still rings lineup as a junior, despite only competing once on the event as a sophomore. He will also compete for spots on floor and vault in 2018.

Everitt will continue to be a leader in the classroom and in the community, after earning Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2017. Everitt is a six-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and was named to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2017.

Jordan King is expected to compete on pommel horse, still rings and high bar as a junior and could compete for a spot in the rotation on the other three events as he is an all-arounder.

The Houston, Texas, native is one of the most experienced juniors on the team. He competed in every meet for the Huskers on pommel horse and appeared eight or more times on still rings and high bar in 2017. He posted season-best scores on pommel horse (14.00), still rings (14.05) and high bar (13.90) as a sophomore.

King will also help the Huskers in the classroom and in the community in 2018 as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, a three-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and a two-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

A returning All-American and the 2017 Big Ten vault champion, Anton Stephenson will be a leader for the Huskers inside and outside the gym in 2018. Stephenson has a plethora of experience heading into his junior season, after appearing in every meet so far in his Husker career. He overcame an injury in 2017 and eventually competed in the all-around at the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Championships, helping the Huskers to their best national team finish (sixth) since 1999.

This season, Stephenson hopes to be healthy enough to continue to help the team on all six events in pursuit of another appearance at the NCAA Championships team finals. Individually, Stephenson is aiming for another Big Ten medal and another All-America award in 2018.

Andrew Zymball looks to get back into the gym after being limited last season by an injury that kept him out of most of the meets in 2017. Prior to the injury, Zymball was a regular competitor on floor for the Huskers in 2016. He looks to play a key role in the lineup on that event for the Huskers in 2018. He also will compete for a spot in the floor, still rings and parallel bars lineups as a junior. Zymball did see some action on vault last season, appearing twice and scoring at least 14.00 both times.

Sophomore Strength

Jake Bonnay is expected to build on his impressive first season at Nebraska as a sophomore in 2018. As an all-around competitor, he has the opportunity to compete for spots on all six lineups, but is expected to see action on floor and high bar after apearing in all but two meets as a freshman. Bonnay competed at the NCAA Championship Individual Finals as just a freshman last season on high bar scoring 13.20 and hopes to help NU return to the NCAA Championships in 2018.

Evan Hymanson made an immediate impact as a freshman and is one of few underclassmen with significant experience in the gym heading into the 2018 season. His experience includes the postseason as he competed at the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Championships Qualifiers and Finals in 2017.

A native of Marlboro, N.J., Hymanson competed in every meet for the Huskers on parallel bars and is expected to continue appearing on that event as a sophomore.

This summer, Hymanson represented the Huskers at the 20th annual Maccabi Games in Israel in July.

After appearning once on still rings in his first season with the Huskers, Austin Lober is expected to compete for a spot in that rotation as a sophomore. Lober also hopes to appear on floor, vault, parallel bars and high bar in 2018. After the departure of two-time All-American Austin Epperson, the Huskers will need to fill his spot on rings, parallel bars and floor. Lober could help NU replace Epperson on all three events.

Freshman Talent                                                                   

The freshman class includes redshirt freshman Josh Martin who saw some action on vault before getting injured last season. He is expected to pick up where he left off and help the Huskers on that event, as well as the other five events as an all-arounder.

Joining Martin are newcomers Griffin Kehler, Zach Peters, Jonathan Scripnick and Mitch Tyndall.

The group had impressive junior careers before coming to Nebraska, and they look to start making an immediate impact on the team this season.

 Challenging Schedule

The team is excited to begin its seventh season in the Big Ten Conference, as it provides challenging matchups for the Huskers.

The Huskers kick off their season Jan. 13 at the Rocky Mountain Open in Colorado Springs, Colo., which begins at 6 p.m. The following weekend, Nebraska has its first home meet of the season against Big Ten foe Ohio State beginning at 7 p.m.

On Feb. 3, NU travels to Norman, Okla. to take on defending national champion Oklahoma at 7 p.m.

Nebraska then returns back home to host UIC on Feb. 10 at 4 p.m.

As a team, the Huskers will take a few weeks off, but selected individuals will compete at the prestigious Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev. The preliminary round will take place on Feb. 15, while the finals are set for Feb. 17.

The team resumes competition on Feb. 24 when it heads to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Hawkeyes.

On March 3, Nebraska will compete in the Arnold Classic beginning at 1:30 p.m. The competition is hosted by Ohio State, but the Huskers will also see several other opponents as well.

The Huskers take two weeks off before continuing their road series on March 17. Nebraska competes against Penn State in State College, Pa., at 4 p.m.

Nebraska concludes the regular season on March 24 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center against Minnesota and Iowa starting at 2 p.m. This meet will serve as Senior Day and the program will honor Connor Adamsick, Antonio Castro, Travis Gollott, Kyle King, Daniel Leal, Alex Magsam, Brenon Sommers and Chris Stephenson for their dedication to the Nebraska gymnastics program.

The Big Red will begin postseason action at the 2018 Big Ten Championships, which will be held in Ann Arbor, Mich., on April 6-7. UIC will host the 2018 NCAA Championships in Chicago, Ill., April 20-21.

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