Nebraska Chosen as Preseason Women's Gymnastics Favorite

Penn State's Sharaya Musser was named a Gymnast to Watch this season.

Dec. 12, 2012

Park Ridge, Ill. -

Defending Big Ten Champion Nebraska has been selected by the conference coaches as the favorite in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Huskers stand atop the poll after winning the Big Ten Championship last season in their first year as a member of the conference. Michigan follows Nebraska in second, while Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota round out the top five. Illinois stands in sixth, followed by Iowa in seventh and Michigan State in eighth.

The Big Ten also announced its 2013 Gymnasts to Watch List, with seven returning All-Conference honorees highlighting the list, including Penn State senior Sharaya Musser, the reigning Gymnast of the Year, and Nebraska sophomore Jessie DeZiel, last year’s Freshman of the Year.  Michigan senior Natalie Beilstein, Nebraska junior Emily Wong and Ohio State junior Sarah Miller all previously earned first-team conference accolades, while Illinois senior Alina Weinstein and Penn State senior Madison Merriam have both claimed second-team honors.

Iowa senior Emma Stevenson and Michigan junior Joanna Sampson were both named to the Big Ten All-Championships Team at last year’s conference meet, while Minnesota senior Janell Campbell and Ohio State junior Melanie Shaffer round out the group of upperclassmen on the list.

Several underclassmen have been tabbed gymnasts to watch, as Illinois freshman Giana O’Connor, Iowa sophomore Emma Willis, Michigan State freshmen Lisa Burt and Nicola Deans, and Minnesota freshman Lindsay Mable decorate the list.

The complete Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Gymnasts to Watch List can be found below. 


1.          Nebraska
2.          Michigan
3.          Ohio State
4.          Penn State
5.          Minnesota
6.          Illinois
7.          Iowa
8.          Michigan State 




Giana O’Connor, Fr., Illinois
Alina Weinstein, Sr., Illinois
Emma Stevenson, Sr., Iowa
Emma Willis, So., Iowa
Natalie Beilstein, Sr., Michigan
Joanna Sampson, Jr., Michigan
Lisa Burt, Fr., Michigan State
Nicola Deans, Fr., Michigan State
Janell Campbell, Sr., Minnesota
Lindsay Mable, Fr., Minnesota
Jessie DeZiel, So., Nebraska
Emily Wong, Jr., Nebraska
Sarah Miller, Jr., Ohio State
Melanie Shaffer, Jr., Ohio State
Madison Merriam, Sr., Penn State
Sharaya Musser, Sr., Penn State