Piscataway, N.J. – Michigan earned the 2017 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships title on Saturday, securing its 23rd overall and fourth-consecutive title. The Wolverines tallied 197.300 points en route to the team title, followed by Illinois in second place with 196.875. Iowa finished in third with 196.725 points, Nebraska placed fourth with 196.475, Ohio State earned fifth with 195.525, while Michigan State and Penn State rounded out the top six with 195.200 apiece.
Michigan’s Nicole Artz earned the all-around title with a 39.500, followed in second by teammate Olivia Karas with a 39.450 and Illinois’ Lizzy LeDuc in third with a 39.425. Michigan’s Emma McLean won the vault title with a score 9.975, earning the highest score on an individual event in the meet. Illinois’ Mary Jane Horth recorded a 9.925 to win on bars, while Illinois’ LeDuc, Iowa’s Mollie Drenth and Michigan’s Talia Chiarelli each tallied a 9.925 on beam to share the event title. Michigan’s Karas took home the floor title with a 9.925 for the Wolverines.
The conference's individual awards were also given out following the championships. Michigan’s Artz was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, marking the tenth time a Wolverine has won the award. Nebraska's Taylor Houchin was tabbed the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while Iowa head coach Larissa Libby was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time in her career.
Twenty-five students were named to the All-Championships Team. Illinois’ Bridget Hodan, Mary Jane Horth and Lizzy LeDuc, Iowa’s Mollie Drenth, Angel Metcalf and Lanie Snyder, Michigan’s Nicole Artz, Talia Chiarelli, Olivia Karas and Emma McLean, Michigan State’s Nicola Deans, Kira Frederick, Elena Lagoski and Hailee Westney, Minnesota’s Ciara Gardner, Hannah Hitchcock and Paige Williams, Nebraska’s Sienna Crouse, Taylor Houchin and Jennie Laeng, Ohio State’s Alexis Mattern, Penn State’s Sabrina Garcia and Briannah Tsang, and Rutgers’ Claire Jones and Makenzey Shank received recognition for their performances at the championships.
The conference's Sportsmanship Award honorees can be found below.
INDIVIDUAL AWARDS Gymnast of the Year: Nicole Artz, Michigan Freshman of the Year: Taylor Houchin, Nebraska Coach of the Year: Larissa Libby, Iowa
ALL-CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM Bridget Hodan, Illinois Mary Jane Horth, Illinois Lizzy LeDuc, Illinois Mollie Drenth, Iowa Angel Metcalf, Iowa Lanie Snyder, Iowa Nicole Artz, Michigan Talia Chiarelli, Michigan Olivia Karas, Michigan Emma McLean, Michigan Nicola Deans, Michigan State Kira Frederick, Michigan State Elena Lagoski, Michigan State Hailee Westney, Michigan State Ciara Gardner, Minnesota Hannah Hitchcock, Minnesota Paige Williams, Minnesota Sienna Crouse, Nebraska Taylor Houchin, Nebraska Jennie Laeng, Nebraska Alexis Mattern, Ohio State Sabrina Garcia, Penn State Briannah Tsang, Penn State Claire Jones, Rutgers Makenzey Shank, Rutgers
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES Jordyn Givens, Illinois Nicole Chow, Iowa Sarah Faller, Maryland Emma McLean, Michigan Molly Hoerner-O’Malley, Michigan State Kaitlin Rahon, Minnesota Catelyn Orel, Nebraska Jaine VanPutten, Ohio State Nicole Medvitz, Penn State Libby Groden, Rutgers
2017 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championship Preview
The 2017 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships will be held on Saturday at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
Rosemont, Ill. - The 2017 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships will be held on Saturday at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J. All 10 conference squads will compete in one of Saturday’s two sessions, and the team with the highest score, regardless of the session, will win the Big Ten Championship.
Each team’s finish at last weekend’s Big Five meets determined the order of appearance at the conference championships. At Saturday’s championships, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota and Rutgers will compete in the afternoon session at Noon ET, while the evening session will feature Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State, beginning at 5 p.m. Michigan earned last season’s Big Ten Championship, securing its third-consecutive and 22nd championship overall. The Wolverines’ Nicole Artz will look to defend her floor exercise and balance beam titles from a year ago, while Nebraska’s Grace Williams also returns to defend her title on the balance beam.
Four conference teams enter the Big Ten Championships ranked in the Road to Nationals Top 25 poll. Michigan leads the pack with a No. 9 ranking, followed by No. 13 Nebraska, No. 20 Illinois and No. 24 Ohio State.
Michigan and Nebraska each clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season title on Saturday after finishing the season with an 8-1 Big Ten record. The Wolverines earned the third regular-season title in program history, while the Huskers secured a second title.