Iowa City, Iowa --- The No. 6 Nebraska women's gymnastics team captured the 2012 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championship on Saturday night in Iowa City, Iowa. The Huskers posted a 197.100 and were led by sophomore Emily Wong, who won the all-around Big Ten crown by posting a career-high 39.60, which is the third-highest all-around score in Nebraska history at a conference championship meet.
The Huskers finished ahead of second-place Ohio State (196.225) and third-place Minnesota (195.95). Michigan (195.875) and Illinois (195.85) rounded out the top five. Nebraska improves to 19-2 on the year and remained perfect on the season competing away from the Devaney Center. The Huskers' score of 197.100 is tied for the sixth-highest away meet score in school history.
A conference-leading five Huskers were named to the Big Ten All-Championship team for finishing in the top three of an individual event or in the all-around. Jessie DeZiel (FX, AA), Jamie Schleppenbach (V), Emily Wong (V, BB, FX, AA), Lora Evenstad (UB, FX) and Janelle Giblin (UB) were all recognized on the team. Also after the meet, DeZiel was recognized as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Head Coach Dan Kendig was honored as the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Kendig is now an eight-time conference coach of the year award winner.
Nebraska, who has now won back-to-back conference championships for the first time since 2002 and 2003, posted the third-highest team score in conference championship history at Nebraska. Wong played a huge part in the Huskers' success, capturing Big Ten event titles on beam (9.90) and floor (9.90) to go along with her all-around crown. Evenstad won the Big Ten bars (9.925) title and tied for the title on floor with DeZiel and Wong, who all posted a 9.90 on the event. DeZiel finished second in the all-around with a 39.525.
"It couldn't happen to a better person," Kendig said of Wong after the meet. "That kid busts her tail every day. I'm so proud of her."
The Huskers catapulted into the lead after their first rotation on bars, where they posted a 49.425 and were led by Evenstad. The senior anchored the event with a nearly flawless 9.925 routine. Evenstad's performance drew a 10.0 from one of the four judges on the event. Giblin continued her brilliant year on bars, scoring a 9.90 in the fifth spot for NU, while Emily Wong scored a season-high 9.875. Schleppenbach and Wong scored a 9.85 and 9.875, respectively, to round out action on the bars and help NU post the highest bars score of the eight teams competing.
Wong stole the show for the Huskers on beam with her 9.90 to help them to a 48.85 team score. Wong's score came after 9.625 and 9.725 from Brittany Skinner and Janelle Giblin, respectively, while Jennifer Lauer led the event off with a 9.775. DeZiel continued her solid night by scoring a 9.825. After two rotations of competition, the Huskers trailed fourth-seeded Minnesota, 98.450-98.275.
Nebraska didn't trail for long after a brilliant performance on the floor, where they closed the event with three straight 9.90s from Wong, DeZiel and Evenstad. The three gymnasts helped NU post a 49.35 on the event and take a 147.625-147.200 lead over Minnesota heading into their last rotation on vault. Giblin tallied a 9.85 for NU, while Schleppenbach scored a 9.80.
After taking the lead on floor, the Huskers moved onto their strongest event on vault and they didn't disappoint. NU tallied three 9.925s in their final four routines by Wong, Schleppenbach and DeZiel, while Giblin posted a 9.90 in the fourth spot of the lineup. Evenstad and Skinner led the event off for NU with a pair of 9.80s to clinch the Big Ten Championship.
The Huskers will return to action in two weeks for NCAA Regionals on April 7. NU will learn its regional location next week. Continue to check back to Huskers.com for more coverage on you 2012 Big Ten Champion women's gymnastics team.
Name Vault Bars Beam Floor All-Around
Katelyn Busacker --- --- --- --- ---
Deanna Barmore --- --- --- --- ---
Jessie DeZiel 9.925 9.875 9.825 9.90 39.525
Lora Evenstad 9.80 9.925 --- 9.90 ---
Janelle Giblin 9.90 9.90 9.725 9.85 39.375
Amanda Lauer --- --- --- --- ---
Jennifer Lauer --- --- 9.775 --- ---
Kassandra Nathe --- --- --- --- ---
Jamie Schleppenbach 9.925 9.85 9.50 9.80 39.075
Brittany Skinner 9.80 9.70 9.625 9.05 38.225
Desire' Stephens --- --- --- --- ---
Emily Wong 9.925 9.875 9.90 9.90 39.60
Team Score Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Nebraska 49.475 49.425 48.85 49.35 197.100
Minnesota 49.30 48.75 38.975 49.15 195.95
Ohio State 49.25 49.05 48.725 49.15 196.225
Penn State 49.10 48.925 48.85 48.825 195.70
Michigan 49.375 49.025 48.725 48.75 195.875
Michigan State 48.80 48.70 48.375 48.80 194.675
Illinois 48.975 49.10 48.90 48.875 195.85
Iowa 49.275 48.825 48.325 49.00 195.425