Three conference teams advanced to the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship, while six individuals competed at the national meet in April to complete the 2013 season.
NCAA Championship Central: At the 2013 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship, seven Big Ten gymnasts posted top-10 individual finishes, led by Michigan's Joanna Sampson's event title in the floor exercise. Minnesota's Hanna Nordquist and Wolverine Katie Zurales tied for second on the balance beam, while Nebraska's Emily Wong and Gopher Lindsay Mable finished in the top-10 in the floor exercise, coming in at third and fourth, respectively. On the vault, Mable tied for fifth and Wong placed 10th. In addition to the individual performances, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota represented the conference in the team portion of the championships. The Wolverines and Gophers each placed fourth in their respective prequalifying round, while the Illini finished fifth. For more on the NCAA Championships, click here and here.
Regional Representation: All eight Big Ten schools competed in the NCAA Regional Championships. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State represented the conference in team competition, while three Michigan State gymnasts competed in various individual events. Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota earned berths to the national meet, while Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State advanced individual gymnasts to the NCAA Championships. Click here and here for more on regional competition.
Huskers Bring Home the Hardware: Nebraska earned the Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships title, its second consecutive crown. The Huskers tallied a team score of 197.800 en route to the title, while Michigan followed in second place with a score of 197.225 and Minnesota finished third with 196.775 points. Illinois took fourth place with a team score of 196.475, followed by Ohio State in fifth (195.950), Penn State in sixth (195.825), Michigan State in seventh (195.450) and Iowa in eighth (193.400). Individually, Nebraska's Emily Wong won the all-around competition for the second year in a row. Click here for more on the Big Ten Championships.
Sharing the Crown: Michigan and Minnesota each earned a share of the inaugural regular-season Big Ten Championship. Both the Wolverines and the Gophers completed the regular season with 6-1 conference dual meet marks. Michigan was 17-1 overall, while Minnesota was 16-3. For the Michigan release, click here. For the Minnesota release, click here.
And the Award Goes To: The conference's individual awards were given out following the conclusion of the Big Ten Championships. Michigan's Joanna Sampson was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, the second such award for a Wolverine athlete in the last three seasons. Minnesota's Lindsay Mable took home Freshman of the Year laurels and Gopher head coach Meg Stephenson received Coach of the Year accolades. For more award winners, click here and here.