April 11, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. -
All seven Big Ten men’s gymnastics teams earned berths to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships, it was announced on Tuesday. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State will compete in one of two pre-qualifying sessions on April 19 with the hopes of qualifying for the final competitions, which will take place April 20-21. The championships will be held at Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State University.
The Nittany Lions boast the conference’s highest qualifying score, ranking first overall among NCAA qualifying teams with a total of 442.088. After winning its first Big Ten Championship since 2009, Michigan is third overall at 437.675, followed by Ohio State (431.575), Minnesota (430.612), Illinois (429.900) and Iowa (426.150) at Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 8, respectively. Nebraska, ranked 10th with a qualifying score of 423.350, rounds out the Big Ten contingent.
The top three teams and the top three all-around competitors not on one of the qualifying teams will advance from each pre-qualifying session to the finals. In addition, the top three individuals from each event not already qualified on a team or as an all-around competitor will also advance.
Last season, Illinois placed first, winning its first national title since 1989 and 10th championship overall. Penn State finished third in the competition, while Michigan placed sixth. Wolverine Sam Mikulak won the all-around championship in 2011 and looks to become the sixth Big Ten gymnast to win multiple all-around national crowns. Mikulak will also try for his second high bar title in as many years.