Photo by Isabel Thalken/Nebraska Communications

Five Gymnasts Named to All-Big Ten Teams

By NU Athletic Communications

CHICAGO -- Five Nebraska women's gymnasts were named All-Big Ten, announced by the conference on Monday, March 19. Seniors Abbie Epperson and Grace Williams, juniors Sienna Crouse and Megan Schweihofer were named first team All-Big Ten, while sophomore Taylor Houchin was named second-team All-Big Ten for the 2018 season. 

The All-conference teams are determined by regional qualifying scores (RQS) from, for each individual athlete, which is calculated with the gymnasts' scores from their respective performances this season. The top-15 individuals are taken from each event and the all-around and the highest score is assigned 15 points, with the next highest score assigned 14 points and on down the line to one point for the 15th-highest score. Ties are given equal scores and ties for 15th-best score are also included. The 2018 All-Big Ten teams include 16 members on the first team due to ties, and 14 members on the second team. 

Williams, a senior from Linden, Mich., has posted a score of 9.85 or better in three events this season: vault, balance beam and floor. Williams has been a beam queen for Nebraska throughout her four years and posted a season-high 9.925 two times this season. Additionally, Williams has helped the Huskers on floor, posting a season-high of 9.875 five times this season. Williams was named Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week on Feb. 5 for her beam work against Minnesota. Williams has won four event titles this season, three coming on beam and one coming on floor. The first-team honor is Williams' second of her career, as she also made the 2016 first-team All-Big Ten team. 

Epperson, a senior from Allen, Texas, posted career-highs in three events this season, including a lifetime-best 39.450 in the all-around twice this season, against Michigan and at the 2018 Masters Classic. Epperson scored a career-high 9.90 on vault at the Masters Classic, and scored a career-high 9.875 on floor against Minnesota. Epperson has posted season-highs of 9.875 or better in every event, and competed in the all-around for the Huskers eight times this season. The experienced all-arounder won four event titles this season, two on bars, one on beam, and two in the all-around. The honor is Epperson's first all-conference honor of her career. 

Crouse, a junior from Fargo, N.D., had a breakout season, setting career-highs in every event including the all-around. Crouse a highly regarded vault competitor was undefeated by opponents on vault until last weekend, she posted a career-high 9.975 in just her third meet this season. Crouse has hit a career-high 9.925 on bars twice this season and scored a 9.925 on floor twice this season. Her best performances came in back-to-back weeks at Oklahoma and at home vs. Pittsburgh, where she scored a career-high 39.550 in the all-around at both meets. Crouse was awarded three Big Ten weekly awards this season, including back-to-back Event Specialist of the Week honors (Jan. 22, Jan. 29) and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Feb. 19.  This is Crouse's second all-conference honor, after being named second team All-Big Ten in 2017. The first-team All-Big Ten selection adds to the junior's decorated career, after earning first team All-America honors as a sophomore in 2017. 

Schweihofer, a junior from China, Mich., has competed in the all-around for the Huskers in every meet she's participated in and is a major contributor to overall team success. The junior has posted season-highs of 9.85 or better in every event this season and set career-highs in three events in 2018. The highly regarded all-arounder has scored a career-high of 39.475 twice for the Huskers this season, most recently at the Big Five meet, where Schweihofer carried the Huskers to the finish line. Schweihofer has posted a career-high 9.95 on floor three times and a career-high 9.90 on vault three times this season, respectively. The junior has won seven event titles this season, two in the all-around, one on balance beam, one on vault and three on floor, most recently at the Big Five meet out of nearly 30 competitors. The first-team All-Big Ten honor is the second all-conference honor for the fierce competitor, who earned second-team all-conference honors in 2017. 

Houchin, a sophomore from Republic, Mo., has posted impressive scores this season, despite resting and rehabbing for much of the early season. Houchin boasts career-highs of 9.90 or better in every event, and has posted scores of 9.825 or better this season. The stellar event specialist gives teammate Crouse competition on vault as the only other Husker to post a 9.975 this season, earning a perfect 10 from one judge at the Masters Classic. Houchin is a bars extroardinaire, scoring over 9.90 five times this season, including a career-high 9.925 at Oklahoma. Houchin has won three event titles this season, including two on bars and one on vault with her lifetime-best performance. Houchin was awarded Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week this season following the vault clinic at the Masters Classic. The second-team All-Big Ten honors adds to her collection of Big Ten awards, including being named the 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, first team All-Big Ten in 2017, and four Big Ten weekly awards in 2017.

The Big Ten also announced the schedule and rotations for the 2018 Big Ten Championships, which will take place Saturday, March 24  in Champaign, Ill., hosted by Illinois. No. 14 Nebraska will compete in the afternoon session with Rutgers, Penn State and Michigan State, beginning at 2 p.m. CT at the podium meet. The evening session will feature No. 7 Michigan, No. 23 Minnesota, No. 24 Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa and Maryland, beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Nebraska will begin on floor, before rotating to vault, bars and finishing on beam. The meet is set to be televised live on the Big Ten network and streamed on connected devices on BTN2Go. Live scoring will also be available. For more information about the Big Ten Championships, visit the Big Ten Championships Central page. 


First Team

Rae Balthazor, ILL
Bridget Hodan, ILL
Audrey Barber, MD
Brianna Brown, MICH
Lexi Funk, MICH
Emma McLean, MICH
Paige Zaziski, MICH
Ivy Lu, MINN
Lexy Ramler, MINN
Sienna Crouse, NEB
Abbie Epperson, NEB
Megan Schweihofer, NEB
Grace Williams, NEB
Alexis Mattern, OSU
Lauren Bridgens, PSU
Briannah Tsang, PSU

Second Team

Nicole Bondi, ILL
Nicole Chow, IOWA
Lanie Snyder, IOWA
Nikki Youd, IOWA
Alecia Farina, MD
Lauren Farley, MICH
Lauren Marinez, MICH
Syd Townsend, MICH
Hailee Westney, MSU
Hannah Hitchcock, MINN
Taylor Houchin, NEB
Olivia Aepli, OSU
Jamie Stone, OSU
Sabrina Garcia, PSU


Afternoon Session I - 3 p.m. ET

Vault - Penn State
Bars - Michigan State
Beam - Rutgers
Floor – Nebraska

Evening Session II - 8 p.m. ET

Vault - Minnesota
Bye 1 - Michigan
Bars - Maryland
Beam - Iowa
Bye 2 - Ohio State
Floor – Illinois


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