The Nebraska men's gymnastics team is ranked fifth in the 2017 Big Ten Preseason Poll. Last season, the Huskers finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships and seventh at the NCAA Championships. The program’s seventh-place overall finish was its best since 1999. Ohio State tops the poll after claiming the 2016 Big Ten title. Minnesota holds the No. 2 spot. Illinois ranks third, while Penn State is No. 4. Iowa and Michigan are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.
Individually, Austin Epperson and Anton Stephenson were named to the 2017 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List. Both Epperson and Stephenson are returning All-Americans this season. At the 2016 NCAA Championships, Epperson placed fifth on floor, while Stephenson earned seventh place on parallel bars. The list also includes Illinois’ Brandon Ngai and Alex Diab. Ngai took home the pommel horse title last season at the NCAA Championships, while Diab was the 2016 Big Ten still rings champion. Penn State’s Leroy Clarke Jr. is also on the list. The senior placed fifth on parallel bars at the 2016 Big Ten Championships.
Epperson, Stephenson and the rest of the Huskers kick off the 2017 campaign Jan. 13-14 in West Point, N.Y., at the West Point Open. Nebraska will go up against the Arizona State Club Team, Army West Point, Navy, Penn State, Springfield College and the Temple University Club Team. Competition is set to begin a 6 p.m. each night.
The complete Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Gymnasts to Watch List can be found below.
BIG TEN MEN’S GYMNASTICS PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
- Ohio State
- Penn State
BIG TEN MEN’S GYMNASTS TO WATCH LIST
Alex Diab, So., Illinois Brandon Ngai, Jr., Illinois Dylan Ellsworth, Jr., Iowa Austin Hodges, Jr., Iowa Dmitri Belanovski, Jr., Michigan Tristian Perez-Rivera, Sr., Michigan Tristan Duran, Jr., Minnesota Zach Liebler, Sr., Minnesota Austin Epperson, Sr., Nebraska Anton Stephenson, So., Nebraska Tristan Burke, So., Ohio State Jake Martin, Sr., Ohio State Leroy Clarke, Sr., Penn State Dominic DiFulvio, Sr., Penn State