As a senior: Two-Time All-American Jen French helped the Huskers to one of the most prolific seasons in Nebraska gymnastics history. With her consistent performances and solid experience, she aided Nebraska in a fourth-place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships.
French earned the second All-America honors of her career with a 10th place finish on floor (9.875) during preliminary competition. She also posted a mark of 9.825 on beam during the first day of competition. At the NCAA Super Six Finals, French hit a 9.875 on beam and a 9.85 on floor.
At the 2003 Big 12 Championships, French tied for third on beam (9.90) and sixth on floor (9.90). She earned All-Big 12 honors on beam for her performance.
French hit a season-high score of 9.95 on beam at the Masters Classic. She tallied a 9.90 on floor four times throughout the course of the season, last posting the mark at the Big 12 Championships.
As a junior: A beam and floor specialist, French played an important role in Nebraska’s fourth-straight trip to the Super Six Finals.
She excelled on floor in 2002, earning the second event title of her career in a dual with Penn State in early March. Nebraska’s first competitor on floor, French posted a career-high score of 9.925, helping the Huskers to a school-record floor score of 49.525. French found herself inserted into the vault lineup against Penn State after Carrie Gloudemans injured her ankle in warm-ups. A week later in a dual with Iowa State, French again received a 9.925 on floor, as the Huskers posted a 49.50, which tied for the second-best score in school history.
French has also been a solid competitor on the balance beam, posting five scores of 9.80 or better, including a season-high 9.90 in the Masters Classic on Feb. 23. She was also named a Verizon/CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-American for her work in the classroom.
As a sophomore: French was a mainstay in the Huskers’ vault and beam lineups in 2001, and worked her way into the floor lineup by the middle of the season. After struggling on beam in the Huskers’ first three contests, French hit her next 11 beam routines, including a career-high 9.925.
At the NCAA Championship qualifier, French led the Huskers on the balance beam, scoring a 9.85 to finish seventh overall and earn second-team All-America honors. She put together what proved to be her most complete performance during the two-day national event, posting scores of 9.85 on floor and 9.80 on vault at the qualifier, and scoring 9.825 on both beam and floor at the Super Six Finals.
French, who had never scored higher than a 9.85 on beam in her career, unleashed an impressive routine at the Big 12 Championships that earned her a 9.925 and helped the Huskers to a school-record score and a come-from-behind victory over defending champion Iowa State. With her performance, French entered her name in the Nebraska record books, as she sits tied for fourth on NU?s all-time beam chart. French captured the first individual title of her career with a 9.90 in the floor exercise in the Huskers? dual with Oklahoma.
As a freshman: French enjoyed a solid season as a three-event specialist (vault, beam and floor) for the Huskers in 2000. She competed in three events at the NCAA Championships, posting scores of 9.75 or higher on all three, including a 9.85 on floor in the Super Six Finals. A groin injury limited French to just vault at regionals, where she tied for 10th with a score of 9.825. She turned in top-10 finishes on all three events at the Big 12 Championships, including a seventh-place showing on the floor exercise (9.875). She also tied for eighth on beam (9.775) and ninth on vault (9.80). Her strongest event was balance beam, where she recorded eight straight scores of 9.775 or better during the year. She enjoyed her best meet of the season in the Huskers’ win at Kentucky, earning runner-up honors on both floor exercise (9.875) and balance beam (9.85).
Prior: French was an elite level gymnast who competed for coaches Paul McAloon and former University of Georgia NCAA champion Lori Strong at Gymcarolina in Raleigh, N.C. A two-time Senior National Elite team member (1997-98) and two-time Junior Olympic National Team member, French was a four-time Level 10 Junior Olympic National qualifier and a three-time Level 10 state champion in the all-around. She placed second in the all-around and third on beam at the 1999 American Challenge in Huntington Beach, Calif., and finished first on beam at the 1997 U.S. Challenge en route to a ninth-place finish in the all-around.
Personal: The daughter of Kent and Pam French, Jen was born on June 3, 1981. Her brother, Bryan, passed away in 1998. She was the valedictorian of her graduating class at Helen Paesler School in Raleigh. A three-time NACGC Scholastic All-American, and a second-team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American, French carries a 3.86 grade-point average in exercise science.