True freshman Jessie DeZiel was named the 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Photo by BreAnna Haessler/NU Media Relations

DeZiel, Kendig Earn Conference Honors

By NU Athletic Communications

Iowa City, Iowa --- After taking the Big Ten women's gymnastics landscape by storm, Nebraska freshman Jessie DeZiel was awarded for her efforts with the 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, while Head Coach Dan Kendig was given the Big Ten Coach of the Year after the conference championships on Saturday night.

DeZiel becomes the first Husker gymnast to win a conference newcomer of the year award since Lora Evenstad captured the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2009. The Rogers, Minn., native was dominant for all of 2012, winning the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award nine out of the 10 possible times she was eligible and capturing two Gymnast of the Week awards along the way.

A winner of 14 individual titles on the year, DeZiel was a standout performer in the all-around, taking home first place a team-high six times. DeZiel made a splash in NU's opening meet posting a 39.575, which was the school record for score in a season debut and scored a career-high 39.60 in Huskers' meet at Minnesota. The talented freshman has won four vault, three beam and six floor titles this season. At the 2012 Big Ten Championships, DeZiel won the floor title and finished second in the all-around with a 39.525.

DeZiel was the No. 3 ranked all-around performer in the country entering Saturday's meet with an RQS of 39.505, and ranks inside the top 25 nationally on vault (9th, 9.91), beam (19th, 9.865) and floor exercise (8th, 9.90).

Kendig won his eighth conference coach of the year award after helping NU to a 19-2 record and a Big Ten Championship in the Huskers' first season in the conference. The Huskers finished the regular-season finished No. 6 in the country and were undefeated away from the Devaney Center for the first time in school history. Kendig owns a 539-276-5 career record and has now guided NU to 13 conference championships.

Penn State's Sharaya Musser was awarded with the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year award.

The Huskers will return to action for their NCAA Regional on April 7. Check back to for more coverage of the 2012 Nebraska women's gymnastics team.


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