MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The No. 8 Nebraska women gymnastics team finished third in a heartbreaker at NCAA Regionals on Saturday, missing a berth in the NCAA Championships by only .150 points.
The Huskers finished third behind Michigan and Illinois, two teams that they had beaten two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships. This marks the first year since 2009 that Nebraska will not compete at nationals.
Nebraska finished with a team score of 195.875. Michigan (196.725) won the regional and the Illini (196.025) finished second.
Three Huskers earned individual berths to nationals. Big Ten all-around champion Emily Wong and Jessie DeZiel led the way, earning the opportunity as the top two all-around competitors not on qualifying teams. Wong (39.225) finished second overall in the all-around, while DeZiel (39.200) won a tiebreaker to advance.
Brittany Skinner finished as the regional champion on vault (9.95) to qualify as well.
Nebraska opened the competition on uneven bars. NU battled several uncharacteristic mistakes on the event, including a fall.
Sitting in fifth heading into its final rotation, NU needed a stellar outing on vault to have a shot at advancing to nationals. The squad responded with the best NCAA postseason score in program history at 49.650. DeZiel, Wong and Skinner tied for top honors on the event with identical scores of 9.95. Hollie Blanske took fourth overall with a 9.925.
The margin was too wide, however, as Illinois scored a 49.175 on balance beam to edge the Huskers for the second and final qualifying spot. Kentucky (195.575) finished fourth, West Virginia (194.475) fifth and North Carolina (194.350) sixth.
Nationals will take place in Los Angeles on April 19-21.
NU’s Klein finishes 2nd on high bar at Big Ten
MINNEAPOLIS — Sophomore Louis Klein finished second in the high bar Saturday during the event finals of the Big Ten championships.
Klein’s score of 15.075 trailed Michigan’s Sam Mikulak (15.700) in the individual competition, which features the top 10 finishers in each event from Friday’s team and all-around finals.
Klein was among just three Nebraska gymnasts who competed Saturday as the No. 10 Huskers finished last Friday out of the seven conference schools that compete in men’s gymnastics.
Freshman Sam Chamberlain (14.775) finished third on the parallel bars, just .025 from second place. Sophomore Grant Perdue (13.775) finished eighth on the floor exercise.