Nebraska places second in opener
Ten gymnasts make debut for Huskers
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- No. 9 Nebraska opened the 2011 season with a second-place finish at the Rocky Mountain Open at the Cadet West Gymnasium on Saturday night.
The Huskers' season-opening score of 334.50 trailed only team champion No. 3 Oklahoma (346.500) among the four collegiate teams at the event. The Sooners captured their 12th consecutive Rocky Mountain Open title. The hosts from No. 13 Air Force took third at 327.300, while Arizona State finished fourth (311.600). A team from the U.S. Olympic Training Center also competed at the event and posted a 350.75, but their scorers did not factor into the team competition or individual awards.
Second-year Nebraska Coach Chuck Chmelka said he was pleased with the performances of the young Huskers, and is eager to see the improvements they can make after the opener.
"I thought we did well for the first meet, especially with 10 new faces," Chmelka said. "I see a lot of potential with this team, and we are going to get a lot better. With the exception of floor, I thought we looked very good tonight. On vault and high bar we hit every routine and that's great."
Nebraska performed the strongest on vault, as all six Huskers posted scores of 15.10 or higher, including sophomore Wyatt Baier's 15.90 -- the highest score by a Husker on any event on the night.
Andreas Hofer, who led the Huskers with an 81.40 in the all-around, added a 15.40 on vault, as did NU's other all-around in the competition -- freshman CJ Schaaf -- who notched an 80.90.
In addition to Schaaf making his collegiate debut for NU, nine other Huskers made their first appearances on Saturday, including six freshmen. The top performing newcomers were Eric Schryver, who placed third on pommel horse (14.00), and Baier, who tied for third on vault.
Freshmen Wyatt Aycock, Micah Christensen, Donavan Arndt, Andrew House, redshirt freshman Mark Ringle and juniors Michael Killeen and Will Eastman also made their first appearances.