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Mary Ocel
Position: All-Around
Year: Junior
City/State: Apple Valley, Minn.
High School: Apple Valley High
Club: Thompson Academy of Gymnastics
  • Third-Team Academic All-American (1988)
  • Academic All-Big Eight
  • Big Eight Honor Roll
  • Nebraska Honor Roll

Mary Ocel was a letterwinner for the Huskers from 1986-88. Ocel was the first NU gymnast to earn academic All-American status, garnering third-team honors in 1988 with a 3.9 GPA. She was a steady competitor for the team on vault and floor throughout the year, but more importantly, she was a persistent performer in the classroom.

As a senior: Mary Ocel did not compete her senior year.

As a junior: With the efforts of Ocel, the 1988 Huskers were not only Big Eight champions, but they were also champions in the classroom. Ocel was the first NU gymnast to earn academic All-American status, garnering third-team honors in 1988 with a 3.9 GPA. She was a steady competitor for the team on vault and floor throughout the year, but more importantly, she was a persistent performer in the classroom.

Studying physical education, she maintained a 3.945 GPA during her three years at Nebraska. Other academic honors Ocel received include 1987 academic All-Big Eight and being named to the Nebraska and Big Eight Honor Rolls her freshman and sophomore seasons.

As a sophomore: Despite being limited to three events (vault, beam and floor), Ocel excelled at Nebraska in her second year. As a sophomore she won the floor exercise title in the dual meet with Iowa State, scoring a 9.40. She tied for third on floor in two other meets as well. Ocel placed twice on beam in her sophomore campaign.  

As a freshman: Surgery on a shoulder ligament as a freshman stood between Ocel and competing in the all-around. At the Big Eight Championships as a freshman, she tied for fourth on beam. She was the top Nebraska gymnast at the regional competition, scoring a 9.20 on beam for 20th. She was honored as a selection on the Nebraska Honor Roll and the Big Eight  Academic Honor Roll.

Prior: Ocel was coached by Dan Schermann (former NU student assistant) at the Thompson Academy of Gymnastics (TAGS), in Burnsville, Minn. She placed 13th in the all-around and 10th on floor at the Western Nationals. In the Class l Regionals, she placed 10th in the all-around, and third on bars and vault. 

Personal: Ocel was born August 25, 1967, in Apple Valley, Minn. She is the daughter of Samuel and Mary Ocel, and has three sisters and four brothers. She attended Apple Valley High. Ocel was an assistant coach for the Huskers in 1990.