The Michigan Wolverines defended their Big Ten Championship title, winning with a big 197.400, dominating the competition in University Park, Pennsylvania with a solid, cleanly-hit meet. Olivia Karas and Natalie Wojcik tied for the Big Ten all-around title- along with Minnesota‘s Lexy Ramler– with a 39.600, helping the team to their third-highest score of the season. The Fighting Illini of Illinois placed second with a 196.650, a new season-high earned with a fantastic performance to secure a place at regionals. In third were the Nebraska Cornhuskers, scoring a 196.550 after having to count some lower scores.

After a slower start to their season, the Wolverines put together a fantastic performance at the Big Ten Championships for Michigan’s sixth-straight conference championship title. Despite a fall on floor, Michigan scored their highest rotation total of the night on that event with a 49.450. Wojcik posted the team’s highest score with a 9.950 to win the event, followed by teammate Karas in second place with a 9.925.

Wojcik performed very well on her other three events, scoring a a 9.900 on beam and 9.875s on bars and vault. Karas also had a great day, scoring 9.900s on beam and bars and a 9.875 on vault. Emma McLean’s performances were another highlight, scoring 9.900s for a stuck Yurchenko full and a powerful floor routine. Overall, Michigan is in a good spot heading to regionals at home in Ann Arbor, looking clean and solid on all four events.

Abby Hesikell performs on the floor exercise for the Michigan Wolverines at the Big Ten Gymnastics Championship in University Park, Pennsylvania/Michigan Athletics

After being in danger of not qualifying to regionals just a few weeks ago, Illinois’ strong performance here showed what this team is truly capable of. After struggling with inconsistencies earlier in the season, the Fighting Illini hit 24 out of 24 routines to put together a great competition on all four events. Mary Jane Otto had the third-highest all-around score of the day with a 39.500, scoring a near-perfect 9.975 on bars and a 9.900 on beam.

Aside from a fall on beam, the Cornhuskers had a solid performance. They had an exceptional floor rotation, with Taylor Houchin and Catelyn Orel scoring 9.900s. Nebraska had precise handstands and clean form on the uneven bars, fought through a few wobbles on beam, and dealt with some landing errors on vault. Sienna Crouse scored a 39.525 in the all-around, scoring at least a 9.850 on every event and earning the second-highest all-around score of the day. Her routines helped Nebraska earn a seeded spot in the upcoming regionals, where they will hope to improve upon this weekend’s performance to reach nationals like they did last season.

Coming into the meet as the second-highest ranked team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers finished fourth with a 196.425, having to count a fall on beam and counting multiple 9.700s on vault. The host Penn State Nittany Lions placed fifth with a 196.125, followed by the Iowa Hawkeyes. In seventh through tenth were Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, and Rutgers.

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