NEB WGYM: Huskers Ready for NCAA Lincoln Regional

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers (23-6, 14-4 Big Ten)
at NCAA Lincoln Regional

Saturday, April 1, 4 p.m. (CT) – Lincoln, Neb. (Bob Devaney Sports Center)

Internet: Huskers.com
Live Scores: Huskers.com

Huskers Ready for NCAA Lincoln Regional
The 14th-seeded Nebraska women’s gymnastics team will compete for a spot in the NCAA Championships as it hosts the 2017 NCAA Lincoln Regional this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Tickets for the meet are available starting at $5 by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or calling 800-8-BIG-RED. The first 100 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students with a valid N-Card will be admitted free.

The Cornhuskers (23-6, 14-4 Big Ten) are set to compete against second-seeded LSU, 11th-seeded Boise State, No. 25 Arizona, Iowa State and Minnesota, as the top two team finishers in the meet will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held April 14-15 in St. Louis, Mo.

Nebraska enters Saturday following a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships on March 18 in Piscataway, N.J., with a score of 196.475. Jennie Laeng headlined three Huskers on the Big Ten All-Championships Team, as she tied for second on uneven bars with a score of 9.90. Sienna Crouse and Taylor Houchin joined her on the All-Championships Team, as the pair tied for third on vault with scores of 9.875. Following the meet, Houchin was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, NU’s second gymnast to win the award since joining the conference before the 2012 season (Jessie DeZiel – 2012).

Nebraska currently has a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 196.725 on the season. In the latest Road to Nationals Rankings that were released March 20, NU ranks in the top-15 in the nation on vault, bars and floor. The Huskers rank ninth on bars with an RQS of 49.295, 11th on floor with an RQS of 49.300 and 13th on vault with an RQS of 49.185.

LSU, which won the SEC regular season and conference championships, enters the meet with an RQS of 197.865 on the season and the top vault RQS (49.540) in the country. Boise State has an RQS of 196.910 and won the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference championship. Arizona has an RQS of 195.880, while Iowa State has a score of 195.750 and Minnesota comes in with an RQS of 195.420.

Two all-arounders and eight event specialists, all from Air Force, will also be competing at the meet.

Nebraska will begin the meet on a bye, before rotating to floor, followed by vault, a bye, bars and beam. Rotating with Nebraska at the meet will be Individual Event Specialist Group 1, which includes Air Force’s Anna Salamone (V, UB), Rita Koenigbauer (BB) and Casey Bell (FX). A live stream and live scores will be available at Huskers.com. For more information on the meet, visit the NCAA Lincoln Regional Central page.

Last Time Out
Nebraska finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships on March 18 in Piscataway, N.J. with a score of 196.475. Jennie Laeng tied a career high with a 39.400 in the all-around to lead the way for the Huskers. Michigan won the meet with a score of 197.300, while Illinois took second with a 196.875 and Iowa was third with a score of 196.725.

Houchin Named Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Taylor Houchin was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, voted on by the conference’s coaches and announced following the Big Ten Championships on March 18. The Republic, Mo., native has become one of Nebraska’s top all-arounders in her first season as a Husker, as she set a Nebraska freshman record with a 39.650 in the all-around at the Masters Classic on Feb. 25. Houchin has hit a 9.95 on floor twice, which tied a program freshman record on the event. She becomes the second Husker to win the award since NU joined the conference before the 2012 season, following Jessie DeZiel in 2012.

Crouse, Houchin and Laeng Named to All-Championships Team
Three Huskers were named to the Big Ten All-Championships Team as top-three finishers on individual events at the conference meet. Senior Jennie Laeng was named to the team on uneven bars for the third-consecutive season, as she tied for second with a score of 9.90. Crouse and Houchin both tied for third on vault, as the pair scored 9.875s.

NU Clinches a Share of the Big Ten Regular Season Title
The Cornhuskers clinched their first Big Ten regular season championship since the 2014 season, sharing the title with Michigan as the two teams posted 8-1 records in conference action in the regular season. The regular season championship is the second for NU since joining the conference before the 2012 season.

All-Big Ten Honors Awarded to Six Huskers
Nebraska gymnasts Taylor Houchin, Jennie Laeng and Ashley Lambert were named first-team All-Big Ten, while Danielle Breen, Sienna Crouse and Megan Schweihofer earned second-team honors, as the Big Ten announced its all-conference teams on March 13. The All-Big Ten teams were determined using Regional Qualifying Scores (RQS) from RoadToNationals.com. The top 15 individuals are taken from each event and the all-around, and the highest score is assigned 15 points, with the next-highest score assigned 14 points and on down the line to one point for the 15th-highest score. The 2017 All-Big Ten teams include 16 members on the first team, and 18 members on the second team due to ties.

Scouting the Regional
No. 2 LSU enters the meet with a record of 20-1 following a first-place finish at the SEC Championships with a score of 198.075. The Tigers have an RQS of 197.865 on the season. LSU is the top vault team in the nation with an RQS of 49.540, led by Ashleigh Gnat, who ranks first on the event with an RQS of 9.970. The Tigers are coached by D-D Breaux, who is in her 40th season as head coach.

No. 11 Boise State is 12-4 on the season after a first-place finish at the MRGC Championships with a score of 197.050. The Broncos have an RQS of 196.910 on the season. Boise State has an RQS of 49.395 on bars which ranks fifth in the nation. Co-head coaches Tina Bird and Neil Resnick are in their season 10th at the helm of the program.

No. 25 Arizona is 7-13 on the season as the Wildcats finished seventh at the Pac-12 Championships with a score of 196.275. Arizona has an RQS of 195.880 on the year. The Wildcats are led by second-year head coach Tabitha Yim.

Iowa State comes into Saturday with a record of 11-9 on the season after a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships with a score of 195.500. The Cyclones have an RQS of 195.750, which ranks 29th in the nation. Jay Ronayne is in his 11th season as head coach of ISU.

Minnesota enters the meet with a record of 12-14 after finishing eighth at the Big Ten Championships with a score of 195.175. The Golden Gophers have an RQS of 195.420, which ranks 36th in the nation. Minnesota is led by fourth-year head coach Jenny Hansen, the 2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Last Year at NCAA Regionals
Nebraska finished second at the 2016 NCAA Iowa City Regional with a score of 196.550 to advance to the NCAA Championships. Eventual NCAA champion Oklahoma took first at the meet with a score of 197.575. Grace Williams was co-champion on beam with a score of 9.90, while Hollie Blanske tied for first on floor exercise with a score of 9.90.

Up Next
The top two team finishers from each NCAA Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, which are set for April 14-15 at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo. The top two team finishers from the Champaign, Fayetteville and Seattle Regionals will compete in Session I on April 14, while qualifiers from Lincoln, Gainesville and Morgantown will compete in Session II. In addition, the top two all-around finishers at each regional that are not on a qualifying team as well as event winners that are not on a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA Championships. The top three team finishers from each semifinal session will advance to the NCAA Super Six Finals, which will be held April 15.