The seventh-ranked Nebraska men’s gymnastics team concludes a long series of away meets this weekend when it travels to Chicago, Ill., to take on the No. 17/18 UIC Flames on Feb. 26. Competition is set to begin at 2 p.m. The meet is a co-ed meet with the UIC women’s gymnastics team hosting Western Michigan at the same time.
Scouting the UIC Flames
UIC is led by an experienced group of upperclassmen that includes, six seniors, one redshirt senior and one redshirt junior. Senior Christopher Root leads the team on pommel horse, still rings and parallel bars. Fellow senior Alexander Dumstorf is also a strong force on the Flames’ squad, leading the team on floor.
A pair of freshmen have made a significant impact already for UIC. All-arounders Asad Joomma and Michael Peluso are leading the team on vault and high bar, respectively in just their first year with the program.
The Flames are looking for their first victory of the season this weekend against Nebraska. Most recently, UIC competed against conference-foe William & Mary on Feb. 11, where the team fell 394.700-376.950. Other losses include Iowa (twice), Ohio State (twice), Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
Nebraska leads the series 6-0. The two teams last met in 2015 where the Huskers topped the Flames 422.050-402.800. NU looks to continue the trend this weekend in Chicago.
Huskers in the Rankings
Nebraska’s highest-ranked event as a team is floor (third) and vault (fifth). This is the first time the Huskers have moved into the top three on an event. Individually, three Huskers remain in the top 10. Antonio Castro ranks ninth on pommel horse. Daniel Leal holds the No. 9 spot on parallel bars, while Kyle King is ranked 10th on vault.
Last Time Out
The Huskers had a week off prior to competing against UIC, but prior, NU took second at the Pac-12 Invitational in Berkeley, Calif. Nebraska topped Cal and Arizona State and fell to Stanford. Anton Stephenson claimed an individual event title on vault with a season-best score of 14.75.
Individually, Chris Stephenson and Evan Hymanson both represented the Huskers at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev. on Feb. 16 and Feb. 18. Stephenson advanced to the finals on Feb. 18, where he finished 15th overall in the all-around. Stephenson was the first Husker to advance to the finals since Kyle King in 2015.
Nebraska welcomes Iowa and Penn State to the Bob Devaney Sports Center on March 4 for a Big Ten matchup. Competition is set to begin at 4 p.m. The Huskers have not faced Iowa this season, but did see Penn State in the season opener. The Huskers fell to Penn State at the West Point Open by less than two points. Iowa currently ranks No. 9/10, while Penn State is ranked No. 5/6. The Hawkeyes travel to Illinois on Feb. 25 to matchup against the Illini, while Penn State competes against Navy on Feb. 25.