Emily Wong and the Huskers hope to advance to the NCAA Championships in Duluth, Ga.
Photo by BreAnna Haessler/NU Media Relations

Huskers Head to Salt Lake City for NCAA Regional

By NU Athletic Communications
- Nebraska Head Coach: Dan Kendig (19th Year)
- Current Team Record: 19-2 (10-0 Big Ten)
- 2012 High Score: 197.600 (at Utah, 3/9/12)
- 2011 NCAA Finish: 4th (196.725)

The No. 5 Nebraska women's gymnastics team will begin NCAA Championship competition this weekend when they travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, for regional action on Saturday, April 7. The Huskers will be joined in the regional by five other teams, including the host No. 8 Utah, who is the regions No. 2 seed behind the Huskers. The region also features fellow Big Ten squad Minnesota, Iowa State, Arizona State and San Jose State.

Action from the Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah is set to begin at 7 p.m. (CST). The meet will be streamed live for free at utahutes.cstv.com, and live scores will also be available. Fans can also follow along by following the Huskers' twitter account at www.twitter.com/HuskersWGYM.

The region also features five at-large all-around competitors and one individual event specialist per event. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors, who are not on an advancing team, will receive an automatic berth to the 2012 NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Georgia in Duluth, Ga., on April 20-22. In addition, the individual event winners will advance to the national championships if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.

As the No. 1 overall seed in the region, the Huskers will start off on bars and then travel to beam before receiving a bye. NU will then go to floor and finish on vault. Nebraska is 19-2 on the season and is fresh of capturing its first Big Ten Championship two weeks ago in Iowa City, Iowa, where they posted a 197.100.

Scouting the Salt Lake City Regional
- The regional will feature three other teams besides the Huskers ranked inside the GymInfo Top 25 national rankings. No. 5 Nebraska will be joined by No. 8 Utah, No. 17 Minnesota and No. 24 Iowa State. The Huskers have defeated each of the ranked teams this season, including two victories a piece over the Cyclones and Gophers. NU defeated Utah on March 9 in Salt Lake City, when they posted season-high score of 197.600.
- Five of the top all-around competitors in the nation will be in action in Salt Lake City, including NU's Jessie DeZiel (3rd, 39.52) and Emily Wong (6th, 39.465). Joining the two Huskers will be San Jose State's Thomasina Wallace (7th, 39.455), Corrie Lothrop of Utah (10th, 39.435) and Iowa State's Michelle Browning (24th, 39.29).
- Utah features three events ranked inside the top 10 nationally, including the No. 6 vault (49.345) and floor (49.31) squads in the country. The Utes are ranked at No. 8 on the balance beam (49.165) and No. 12 on bars (49.12).
- Perhaps the most loaded event at the regional will be on the beam, where five of the six teams competing rank inside the top 25. Ranked beam teams include No. 8 Utah (49.165), No. 9 Nebraska (49.13), No. 21 Minnesota (48.885), No. 22 Iowa State (48.86) and No. 24 Arizona State (48.85).
- Head coaches in the regional include Greg and Megan Marsden (Utah), Meg Stephenson (Minnesota), Jay Ronayne (Iowa State), John Spini (Arizona State) and Wayne Wright (San Jose State).

Husker History at NCAA Regionals
The Huskers have now made 28 straight consecutive NCAA postseason appearances dating all the way back to 1985 when they finished in fifth place. Nebraska has captured five regional championships, with their last one coming in 2003, and have finished inside the top two 11 of the past 13 seasons.

Looking Back: 2011 Corvallis Regional Recap
The 10th-ranked Nebraska women's gymnastics team posted a score of 196.55 at Oregon State University's Gill Coliseum to finish second at the 2011 NCAA Corvallis Regional and earn a berth to the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Huskers scored a 49.0 or better on vault, bars and floor to secure their 20th NCAA Championships appearance in school history. Nebraska finished second behind Oregon State (197.025), and ahead of Michigan State (194.525), San Jose State (194.425), Iowa (193.925) and Southern Utah (193.775).

Erin Davis and Lora Evenstad each earned an event title. Davis tied for first on vault with a score of 9.875, while Evenstad hit a 9.90 on floor for first-place. The regional event title was the second of Davis' career and first for Evenstad.

Last Time Out: Huskers Capture B1G Title
The Nebraska women's gymnastics team captured the 2012 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championship on Saturday, March 24, 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. 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 (BB, FX, AA), Lora Evenstad (UB) 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.

Five Huskers Earn All-Big Ten Honors
The Huskers placed a league-high five gymnasts on the 2012 All-Big Ten first and second teams, which were announced by the conference on Monday, March 19.

Four Huskers were placed on the first team after finishing in the top three in the conference at a single event or finishing in the top six in the all-around. Jessie DeZiel, Lora Evenstad, Janelle Giblin and Emily Wong were all placed on the first team, while Jamie Schleppenbach was a second-team honoree after finishing in the top six on vault.

DeZiel and Wong both rank inside the top five nationally in the all-around and check in as the No. 2 and 3 all-around competitors in the Big Ten, respectively. Both DeZiel and Wong were named to their first all-conference team

Evenstad ranks inside the top three in the conference on bars (9.90) and floor (9.90) to secure her spot on the first-team. The senior is a three-time all-conference pick after being named to the All-Big 12 team the previous two seasons.

Giblin was a first-team member ranking first in the vault (9.93) and bars (9.91). The San Ramon, Calif., native has won the bars title in nine out of the Huskers' 10 meets and has five vault titles.

Schleppenbach earned second-team honors after finishing the regular season ranked at No. 5 on vault with an RQS of 9.90. The Lincoln native has won three vault titles and posted a career-high 9.95 twice this season, including in the Huskers' road victory over No. 7 Utah.

DeZiel, Kendig Earn Conference Honors
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, March 24. DeZiel became 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.

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.

Huskers Dominate Big Ten Weekly Awards
The Huskers finished the regular season with a league-high 13 individual Big Ten Conference weekly awards, more than double any other team in the conference. A major reason the Huskers' were so successful was the performance of freshman Jessie DeZiel, who won the Big Ten Freshman of the Week nine out of the ten times she was eligible. The Rogers, Minn., native also took home the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week two times on Jan. 16 and Feb. 20.

Senior Lora Evenstad won the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 23 for her performance on the road against Iowa State, where she won the all-around with a 39.45. Sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach was the gymnast of the week after helping the Huskers defeat No. 7 Utah on road. The Lincoln, Neb., native won two event titles and finished first in the all-around, while helping NU post the second-highest away meet score in school history.

Five Different Huskers Win All-Around Titles
With Janelle Giblin's all-around victory against Iowa State on March 16, the Huskers have now had five separate gymnasts win an all-around title in a single season for the first time since at least 1997. Jessie DeZiel leads the way with six titles, while Emily Wong has won two after winning the Big Ten all-around competition. Lora Evenstad, Jamie Schleppenbach and Giblin each have one.

NU Makes History, Finishes Perfect on the Road
The Huskers accomplished something no other team in school history has done when they defeated Utah on Friday, March 9. With the victory, the Huskers finished the regular season undefeated in away meets for the first time in school history. NU finished the regular season with a perfect 7-0 mark on the road, including four wins over top 25 opponents. Road victories included triumphs over No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 7 Arkansas and No. 7 Utah.

Giblin Dominating on Bars
Junior Janelle Giblin has been dominant on bars this season, scoring a 9.85 or above in every meet which helped her capture nine event titles in 11 possible meets. Giblin posted a career-high 9.95 in the Huskers' victory over Iowa State on March 24 and is the No. 2 bars performer in the country with a 9.91 RQS, which is tied with fellow Husker Lora Evenstad. Giblin scored a 9.90 at the Big Ten Championships.

Huskers in the Rankings
The Huskers moved to No. 5 in the latest GymInfo national women's gymnastics rankings. The Huskers are the only Big Ten squad in the top 10 and sport a regional qualifying score of 196.960.

The Huskers are ranked inside the top 10 on all four events as a team and feature two all-arounders ranked inside the top 10. On vault, NU checks in at No. 3 with an RQS of 49.430 and is No. 2 on bars (49.345). The Huskers are the No. 5 floor team in the country with a 49.315 RQS and ranked at No. 9 on beam with an RQS of 49.13.

True freshman Jessie DeZiel and sophomore Emily Wong are two of the top all-around performers in the country. DeZiel is currently ranked as the No. 3 all-arounder in the nation with a 39.52 RQS, while Wong isn't far behind at No. 6 with a 39.465. DeZiel ranks inside the top 10 on vault (7th, 9.92) and floor (9th, 9.905), while Wong is No. 9 on beam (9.89).

Junior Janelle Giblin continues to be one of the top bar performers in the country, where she is ranked at No. 2 in the latest rankings. Giblin, who won her ninth bars title of the year against Iowa State on March 16, has a 9.91 RQS and is also No. 3 on vault with a 9.93 RQS. Senior Lora Evenstad ranks inside the top 10 on bars (2nd, 9.91) and is No. 13 on floor (9.90), while sophomore Jamie Schleppenbach is the No. 10 vaulter in the country with a 9.915 RQS.

Huskers Hitting On Bars at Right Time
One of the Huskers main goals entering each season is to improve on every event and peak as they enter post-season competition, and that's exactly what they are doing on bars where they currently rank at No. 2 in the country. Nebraska has scored above 49.10 in every meet this season and set season-highs on the event for three consecutive meets before the Big Ten Championships. NU posted a 49.35 against Florida on March 4, before scoring a 49.425 against Utah on March 9. In their meet against Iowa State, the Huskers put up a 49.45, which was tied for the 10th highest score in school history, while three NU gymnasts either set or matched their career highs. At the Big Ten Championships, NU scored a 49.425 and Lora Evenstad took home the title with a career-high 9.925.

Lauer Steps Up Big for Huskers on Beam
Jennifer Lauer has stepped up in a big way to help the Huskers find consistency on beam. The true freshman led off for NU in their last five meets and was instrumental in the Huskers' victory over Arkansas on Feb. 24, when she led the event off with a career-high 9.875.

Huskers Find Consistency on Beam
After struggling on beam against the Missouri Tigers on Jan. 28 by posting a 46.95, the Huskers have continued to improve on the event by posting a 49.00 or above in four of their last eight meets. The Huskers have climbed back to No. 9 in the national beam rankings after falling to No. 25 after their meet against Missouri.

The Huskers are led on beam by Jessie DeZiel and Emily Wong, who each have three beam titles on the season.

Huskers Competing Against Nation's Best
Nebraska faced off against some of the top teams in the country during the regular season, having battled against four teams ranked inside the top 10. The Huskers defeated No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 7 Arkansas and No. 7 Utah this year, and fell to No. 1 Florida, 196.825-196.95, on March 4. NU owns a 12-2 record against ranked teams, including victories over No. 12 Penn State, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 20 Denver, No. 25 Minnesota (three times), No. 22 Michigan (twice), No. 20 Washington and No. 23 Illinois.

Huskers Post Six All-Around Scores at Masters Classic
For the first time in his 18-plus seasons at Nebraska, Head Coach Dan Kendig had all six gymnasts compete in the all-around when the Huskers took on Washington, Michigan and Southern Utah at the Masters Classic on Feb. 11. Jessie DeZiel, Lora Evenstad, Janelle Giblin, Jamie Schleppenbach, Brittany Skinner and Emily Wong all competed in the all-around, while DeZiel took home the crown with a 39.45. Nebraska finished with the top three spots in the all-around, with Wong finishing in second with a 39.375 and Skinner taking home third place with a career-high 39.35.

Kendig Builds One of Nation's Top Programs at Nebraska
Head Coach Dan Kendig is the all-time winningest coach in the 35 years of Nebraska women's gymnastics history. In 18 seasons at Nebraska, Kendig is 435-164-4 overall and 291-67-2 in regular-season meets. Kendig is in his 29th year of coaching and owns a career record of 545-276-5.

An nine-time Conference Coach of the Year, Kendig has guided the Huskers to 13 conference championships and three straight regional championships from 2000 to 2002. He was most recently named the 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year.

He has also led Nebraska to 14 NCAA Championship appearances in the past 17 seasons, including NCAA Super Six Finals appearances in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011. Kendig was honored as the NCAA Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2003, a year in which the Huskers finished fourth nationally.

Under Kendig's guidance in 2011, Nebraska finished with a 22-12 overall record. The Huskers took fourth at the 2011 NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, in their 28th straight NCAA postseason appearance, which tied for the highest finish in school history. Five of Kendig's gymnasts --Lora Evenstad (FX), Brittany Skinner (BB), Janelle Giblin (V, AA), Jamie Schleppenbach (V) and Emily Wong (UB) -- earned All-America honors.

Miller, Brink Join Coaching Staff
Assistant coaches Dan Miller and Heather Brink began their college coaching careers when the Huskers took Denver after being hired this offseason. Brink will coach the balance beam, while also assisting with choreography on the floor exercises. Brink was an 11-time All-American at NU and became a two-time national champion in 2000 by winning the all-around and vault title as a senior.
Miller comes to Nebraska after serving as the owner and head coach at Arena Gymnastics in Joliet, Ill. Miller will coach the Husker vault and floor squads. In his career, Miller has coached over 50 Level 10 gymnasts and 16 national qualifiers.


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