Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships
Teams Participating: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State
Dates: Friday, April 6 (Team Competition)
Saturday, April 7 (Individual Competition)
Start Times: 7 p.m. both nights
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Venue: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
TV: BTN, BTN2Go.com
Live Stats: HawkeyeSports.com
The No. 9 Nebraska men's gymnastics team will head east to Iowa City, Iowa this weekend to take part in the team's first-ever Big Ten Championships on April 6-7. The meet will take place over the course of two nights, with team competition on Friday night and the individual competition on Saturday night. Both sessions are slated for a 7 p.m. start and will be broadcasted live on BTN and BTN2Go.com. Fans can also view live stats for the event at HawkeyeSports.com or follow live updates on the official Nebraska men's gymnastics Twitter account (@NebraskaMGym).
Nebraska in the National Rankings
The Huskers remained at ninth nationally in the latest GymInfo Poll, released April 2. The Huskers hold a team four-score of average of 341.883, good for sixth among Big Ten teams. The Penn State Nittany Lions came in at first nationally (355.600), while Oklahoma came in at second (354.167) and Stanford held strong in third (352.650).
NU picked up top ten national rankings on four separate events this week, led by a No. 6 ranking on parallel bars (57.333). The team also picked up a pair of No. 7 rankings on vault (58.700) and high bar (56.533) while adding a No. 8 ranking on floor exercise (58.950).
Four Husker athletes also appeared in the individual national rankings this week, picking up rankings on five different events. Junior Wyatt Baier paced the Big Red this week, appearing at 11th nationally on vault (14.983). Freshman Grant Perdue is 12th on floor (15.017), while sophomore Mark Ringle is tied for 12th on parallel bars (14.567). Sophomore Eric Schryver added a ranking of 17th on pommel horse (14.450) and senior Andreas Hofer held a ranking of 19th on high bar (14.367). Perdue rounded out the rankings for NU, coming in at 19th on vault (14.750).
Scouting the Competition
Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the top ten of the latest GymInfo Poll, with all seven teams appearing in the top 15 nationally. The Huskers will face Penn State, defending champion Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa this weekend in the conference championships.
A total of 16 Big Ten gymnasts hold top five national individual rankings, with a total of 15 of those gymnasts hailing from either first-ranked Penn State or fourth-ranked Illinois. Additionally, three Big Ten teams hold the top national average of five of six apparatuses.
Four of 2011's individual conference champions will return for this year's championship, including last year's all-around champion and Gymnast of the Year, Sam Mikaluk of Michigan. Also returning are Ohio State's Mike Behles (vault), Minnesota's Zack Chase (vault) and Michigan's Syque Caesar (parallel bars).
Big Ten in the National Rankings
Penn State - 1st, 355.600
Illinois - 4th, 352.133
Minnesota - 5th, 347.267
Ohio State - 6th, 345.467
Michigan - 8th, 343.400
Nebraska - 9th, 341.883
Iowa - 12th, 336.833
The NCAA will announce its National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Selections next week Tuesday, April 10 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 Norman, Okla. on Apri 19-21 at Lloyd Noble Arena on the University of Oklahoma campus.
Last Time Out: Nebraska Posts Season-High 349.600 on Senior Night
The Huskers posted new season-high team scores on four events, paving the way for a season-best score of 349.600 to defeat No. 12 Iowa on March 24 in Lincoln. Nebraska's 349.600-343.350 victory on Saturday night featured eight personal-best scores for Huskers in front of a senior night crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
NU picked up five event titles on four events Saturday evening. Freshman Grant Perdue picked up a new personal-best score at 15.30 to capture the floor exercise title. Junior Wyatt Baier added a title on vault, with a new personal-best and season-leading score of 15.40. Wyatt Aycock was tops on pommel horse on the evening with a 14.80 while also tying with teammate Andreas Hofer and Iowa's Mitchell Landau on parallel bars (14.65).
Nebraska began the night on floor, hitting a new season-high team score of 59.750. The Huskers were led by freshman Perdue, who hit a new season and team-best mark of 15.30. Senior Will Eastman added his own career-best score of 14.90, while fellow senior Andreas Hofer added a 14.80 and sophomore Mark Ringle contributed a 14.75.
Iowa competed on pommel horse for their first rotation, tallying a team score of 54.600. After one rotation, the Huskers led the Hawkeyes 59.750-54.600.
The second rotation took the Huskers to pommel horse, where the team's momentum carried them to another season-high team score of 57.150. Aycock's mark of 14.80 is both a new career-high as well as a team best this season for the Big Red. Nationally-ranked sophomore Eric Schryver added a 14.45, while freshman Gabriel Jolley hit his best score of the season with a 14.00.
The Hawkeyes took to floor for the second rotation, hitting a score of 57.500. Following the second rotation, Nebraska led Iowa by a score of 116.900-112.100
Nebraska competed on still rings in the third rotation of the evening, hitting yet another season-high team mark at 58.050. Four Huskers hit career-high scores, led by sophomore Donovan Arndt's season-best score of 14.75. Baier contributed a new personal-best of 14.55, while freshman Robbie Kocks added his own career-high of 14.50.
The third rotation saw Iowa on vault, where the Hawkeyes posted a team score of 58.000. After three rotations, Nebraska extended their lead over Iowa to 174.950-170.100.
NU took to vault on the fourth rotation, posting their fourth season-high team score of the evening with a 59.750. Baier paced Nebraska with his new personal-best and team-high score of 15.40. Hofer added a score of 14.95, while Perdue tacked on a mark of 14.75 for the Huskers.
Iowa posted a team score of 59.750 on still rings in the fourth rotation. After four rotations, the Huskers led the Hawkeyes 234.700-229.850.
The Huskers moved to parallel bars for their fifth rotation, logging a mark of 58.400. Aycock and Hofer were tops for the Big Red on the event, hitting identical scores of 14.65. Sophomore Mark Ringle and Schryver added scores of 14.55 apiece and freshmen Jolley and Connor Stillwell each tacked on scores of 14.45.
Iowa picked up a mark of 55.550 on high bar in the fifth rotation. With just one rotation remaining, the Huskers pushed their lead over the Hawkeyes out to 293.100-285.400.
The sixth and final rotation saw Nebraska on high bar, where the team posted a score of 56.500. Freshman Josh Ungar led Nebraska with a personal-best mark of 14.55. Hofer and Stillwell added scores of 14.10 and 13.95, respectively.
Iowa's final rotation took them to parallel bars, where the Hawkeyes posted a score of 57.950. Nebraska cemented their victory after six rotations, finishing at 349.600-343.350.