Williams Wins Bars, Huskers Place Second

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Senior Brittney Williams earned the first Big 12 crown of her career on bars to lead No. 12 Nebraska at the Big 12 Championships at Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum on Saturday. The Huskers posted a score of 196.075 to fall to second place in the team standings behind Oklahoma’s mark of 196.125. Missouri came in third with a team total of 195.925 and Iowa State finished fourth with a total mark of 195.775.

“I am proud of this team,” Head Coach Dan Kendig said. “Half of a tenth is going to linger for a bit. Some of the girls will beat themselves up over this, but they shouldn’t. I know how hard they work. We did not count a mistake today, it is just hard because I know how much they wanted this.”

The Huskers swept the annual postseason awards, as junior Kylie Stone was honored as Co-Gymnast of the Year with Missouri’s Sarah Shire, Lora Evenstad was named Newcomer of the Year and Head Coach Dan Kendig received Coach of the Year honors.

“I am really happy for Lora,” Kendig said. “For the rest of the Big 12 coaches to honor her like that says a lot, it’s a great honor. Equally, I am honored and humbled with the Coach of the Year honor. It is exciting to me, because it is because of the team and what they’ve done this year.”

Nebraska opened the meet on vault, where Kassandra Nathe led the way with a career-high-tying 9.85 to tie for third in the event. Stone posted a 9.825, and Erin Davis added a 9.80. Lora Evenstad and Tricia Woo both received a mark of 9.775. After the first rotation, Nebraska stood in first place (49.025), ahead of Oklahoma (49.00), Iowa State (48.90) and Missouri (48.80)

NU then moved on to bars and was led by senior Brittney Williams. In the last conference championships of her Husker career, she earned a share of the event crown as she posted a mark of 9.85. Stone and Brittnee Habbib each hit a 9.825. Evenstad continued her day with a 9.80, and Kathryn Howard notched a 9.725. Nebraska earned a rotation total of 49.025, to come in second in the standings with a 98.05, behind the Sooners (98.25), but ahead of the Cyclones (97.925) and the Tigers (97.65) at the halfway point.

The Huskers continued onto the third rotation on beam, where Howard hit a 9.80 to take fifth, and Fyffe and Nathe both posted a 9.77, while Stone received a mark of 9.75 and Habbib was given a 9.725. Nebraska finished with an event score of 48.825. The Huskers headed into the final rotation in second place, with a score of 146.875. Oklahoma took the top spot (147.35), Iowa State came in third (146.85) and Missouri took the fourth spot (146.775).

Nebraska capped the evening on floor, as Evenstad and Stone each received a score of 9.90 as they tied for second. Woo notched a 9.85 and Nathe posted a 9.80. Habbib hit a 9.725. The meet came to a close with the Huskers receiving an event score of 49.20 and a final score of 196.075. Oklahoma took the top spot with a 196.125, Missouri came in third totaling a 195.925 and Iowa State tallied a 195.775 for fourth.

In addition, Stone came in third in the all-around, notching a score of 39.30.

“This will motivate us,” Kendig said. “We’ll get back in the gym and get better to get ready for regionals.”

Nebraska, which has won a total of 20 conference titles in school history, will await its fate with the announcement of the NCAA Regional fields on Monday, March 23.