Wyatt Baier will be a key part of Nebraska's efforts this weekend.
Photo by BreAnna Haessler/NU Media Relations

Nebraska Heads to NCAA Championships

By NU Athletic Communications

2012 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships
Teams Participating:
Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State, California, Temple, Nebraska, Iowa, Air Force
Dates: Thursday, April 19 (Team Qualifier)
Qualifier 1: 1 p.m. CT
Qualifier 2: 7 p.m. CT
Friday, April 20 (Team and All-Around Finals), 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 (Individual Event Finals), 7 p.m.
Location: Norman, Okla.
Venue: Lloyd Noble Arena
Live Webcast: NCAA.com (Free)
Live Stats: SoonerSports.com

The 10th-ranked Nebraska men's gymnastics team will travel south to Norman, Oklahoma this week to compete in the 2012 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships on April 19-21. The event will be held at the Lloyd Noble Arena on the campus of the University of Oklahoma and will feature three days of competition between participating teams.

A total of 12 teams will compete in the team qualifier on Thursday, April 19, which will be split into two sessions. The top three finishing teams in each session will advance to the team finals, to be held on Friday, April 20 alongside all-around finals. The championships will conclude on Saturday, April 21 with individual event finals.

The Huskers are seeded 10th overall with a qualifying score of 341.587 and will compete in the first of two qualifying sessions on Thursday. Nebraska will face off with five other teams in the first qualifying round at 1 p.m. CST. NU will join No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 8 California and No. 11 Iowa in the first session.

The second team qualifier is slated for a 7 p.m. start on Thursday and will consist of No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Illinois, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 9 Temple and No. 12 Air Force.

Fans wishing to attend the NCAA Championships may obtain tickets by contacting the OU Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU or by ordering online at SoonerSports.com. The University of Oklahoma will have a live webcast, live scoring and final results available at the Championship Central page online at SoonerSports.com. Fans may also view live updates from NU's competition by following the Huskers on Twitter (@NebraskaMGym).

Schryver Picks Up First Big Ten Medal
Sophomore Eric Schryver earned Nebraska's first-ever conference medal in individual competition at the Big Ten Championships on April 7, placing third on pommel horse with a score of 14.20 Schryver competed third on horse and led the event until being edged by the final two competitors of the evening.

Junior Wyatt Baier (vault) and freshman Josh Ungar (high bar) also represented the Huskers in the individual competition at the conference championships. Baier finished seventh overall on vault, notching a score of 15.00. Baier has continually led the team on vault in 2012, which has been one of Nebraska's best events. His score of 15.00 was identical to his qualifying score from the previous evening and marked his third-highest score this season.

Ungar picked up a ninth place finish on high bar with a score of 13.90. Ungar has been one of Nebraska's most consistent high bar competitors after being plugged into the lineup of the event in Nebraska's fourth meet of the season.

Nebraska in the National Rankings
The Huskers fell one spot to tenth in the latest GymInfo poll, released April 9. The poll ranked programs according to their National Qualifying Average (NQA), which is calculated by selecting each team's four highest scores on the season, replacing the highest regular-season score with the conference championship score, and then finding the average of those four scores. Nebraska posted an NQA of 341.587, qualifying the team for the NCAA Championships.

The Huskers also appeared in the top ten nationally on four separate events, led by seventh place rankings on vault (58.712), parallel bars (57.187) and high bar (56.700). NU also picked up a 10th place overall ranking on floor exercise (58.512).

A total of six Nebraska athletes picked up national rankings on five events this week, led by junior Wyatt Baier's ranking of 8th overall on vault (15.037). Sophomore Eric Schryver continued his appearance in the top 20 nationally on pommel horse at a tie for 15th this week (14.375) will also adding a ranking of 19th on parallel bars (14.450). Freshman Grant Perdue continued his streak of appearances in the national floor rankings, coming in at 16th nationally (14.887).

A total of three Huskers found themselves in the high bar rankings this week, marking the most athletes NU has had ranked on any one event this season. Senior Andreas Hofer appeared at 17th (14.337), tying for that spot in the rankings with freshman Josh Ungar (14.337) as Ungar made his first appearance in the rankings this season. Senior Will Eastman also picked up a ranking on high bar at a tie for 20th (14.287).

Huskers to Watch For
Wyatt Baier
Junior | Denver, Colo. | FX, SR, V
Baier has been one of Nebraska's most reliable threats on vault this season, continually raising his scores as the season progresses. Baier qualified for the Big Ten Championship event finals on vault, where he finished in seventh with a score of 15.00. The junior from Denver, Colo. has peaked on vault this season at 15.40 and will look to increase that score this weekend. He is currently ranked 8th nationally on vault and also contributes on floor and still rings for Nebraska.

Andreas Hofer
Senior | Heidelberg, Germany | FX, SR, V, PB, HB
Hofer will look to go out with a bang this weekend at his final NCAA Championships after finishing 10th at the 2011 NCAA Championships in all-around competition. Although Hofer won't be competing as an all-arounder for the Huskers this weekend, he will still figure to be a key component to NU's attack. Hofer has been consistently ranked on high bar this season and has also made appearances on several other events, including floor exercise.

Grant Perdue 
Freshman | Missouri City, Texas | FX, SR, V
Perdue has stepped up for the Huskers this season on floor exercise and vault and will look to be a contender on both events this weekend. The freshman from Missouri City, Texas has consistently increased his scores on floor throughout the season, culminating in a mark of 15.30 against Iowa in late March. Perdue will look for his best performance yet this season in Norman as he aids the Huskers in their floor and vault rotations.

Eric Schryver 
Sophomore | Richardson, Texas | PH, PB, HB
Schryver has brought consistently high levels of performance week in and week out this season, particularly on pommel horse and parallel bars. The sophomore from Richardson, Texas finished third in the Big Ten on pommel horse and has been ranked throughout the season on both horse and parallel bars. Schryver will look to contend for All-America honors on horse while contributing to NU's efforts on high bar as well.

2012 NCAA Championships Preview
A total of twelve teams have qualified for the 2012 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, with an additional five schools being represented with at-large qualifying individual competitors. First-ranked Oklahoma will host the event on their home campus at the Lloyd Noble Arena as they aim for their first national championship since 2008. The Penn State Nittany Lions are ranked second overall, while defending national champion Stanford
comes to Norman seeded third. 2012 Big Ten champion Illinois comes in at fourth overall, and Minnesota rounds out the top five of the championship field.

The Big Ten will be the top-represented conference at the competition, with all seven conference schools (Penn State, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Iowa) earning bids to the championship. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) qualified an additional four competing teams (Oklahoma, Stanford, California, Air Force), while Temple joins the competition field as a member of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

A total of 24 All-Americans will return to the NCAA Championship floor this weekend, including Oklahoma's Jake Dalton, who captured a total of four All-America honors at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Sam Mikaluk, last season's all-around champion, will also return to compete this weekend. Oklahoma, Penn State and California lead the competition field, with each team returning a total of four All-America honors.

Last Time Out: Nebraska Finishes Seventh as a Team at Big Ten Championships
The ninth-ranked Nebraska men's gymnastics team saw several strong individual performances on Friday, April 6 but were unable to capitalize as a whole, finishing in seventh with a team score of 340.700 at their first Big Ten Championships.

No. 4 Illinois took home their fourth consecutive conference crown on the night, posting a team score of 352.950. Eighth-ranked Michigan pulled off an upset to capture the conference runner-up crown (351.850), while No. 1 Penn State came in third (350.000).

The Huskers began Friday evening's competition on vault, hitting a mark of 58.750. The team's score was right on par with their team average thus far this season (58.700). Baier paced the Huskers, posting his third-highest score of the season at 15.00, while freshman Grant Perdue added a 14.65. Nebraska jumped out to an early lead after one rotation, posting a team mark of 58.750.

NU struggled slightly in its second rotation on parallel bars, normally one of the team's strongest events this season. Nebraska logged a score of 56.750, led by Hofer's score of 14.45. Schryver hit a 14.30 for the Big Red, and freshman Connor Stillwell added a 14.10. Following two rotations, the Huskers slipped to third overall with a team score of 115.500.

The Huskers bounced back on high bar in the third rotation, notching a team score of 57.200. Freshman Josh Ungar was tops for the Big Red on the event, posting a score of 14.45. Senior Will Eastman added a 14.30, and Hofer tacked on a 14.25 to help the Big Red to their second-best team score on high bar this season. Nebraska held strong at third overall after three rotations, posting a team mark of 172.700.

The fourth rotation of the evening took the Huskers to floor exercise, where the team posted a score of 57.200. The score was an uncharacteristically low mark for a Nebraska squad that has seen marked improvement on the even this season. Freshman Grant Perdue scored a 14.50 to lead the Big Red on the event, while Eastman contributed a 14.40. After four rotations, NU maintained their position of third overall, scoring in at 229.900.

Following a bye during the fifth rotation, the Big Red moved to pommel horse, hitting a team score of 53.80. Nationally-ranked sophomore Eric Schryver led Nebraska on the event, picking up a score of 14.15. Fellow sophomore C.J. Schaaf added a score of 13.70, his best this season. With only one rotation to go, Nebraska came in at seventh overall (283.700).

The sixth and final rotation saw Nebraska on still rings. The team notched a score of 57.000, paced by sophomore Donovan Arndt's mark of 14.75. Baier added a score of 14.20 and redshirt freshman Robbie Kocks tacked on a 14.15 for the Big Red.

The team competition was tight and would come down to the wire, but defending champion Illinois pulled off their fourth consecutive Big Ten championship with a team score of 352.950. Michigan came in at second overall (351.850), Penn State came in third (350.000), Minnesota in fourth (345.800), Ohio State fifth (343.650), Iowa sixth (342.800) and Nebraska in seventh (340.700).


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