CHAMPAIGN, Ill., - Brett Nelligan, head coach of the Maryland gymnastics team, earned the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year honor as the Terps competed at the Big Ten Championship Saturday.
“I’m thrilled. This is our first time in the night session and I’m really proud for such a young team to get here,” said Nelligan. “We’re doing all the big stuff right but we’re giving away little tenths all over the place; so when we get back in the gym next week, we have to bring some of those tenths back before we head into regionals.”
The team tallied a 195.250 at the meet, competing in the evening session for the first time since joining the conference. Michigan won the Big Ten title with a 197.300.
“They’ve battled all year,” said Nelligan. “They’ve come so far and we’re right on the edge of where we need to be. We just have to calm our nerves down, be a little more confident and we’ll pick up all those tenths we need.”
Maryland began the meet on bars, their best event of the competition, where the team earned a 49.175. Freshman Emilie LeBlanc earned a 9.825 and junior Shynelle Agaran followed with a 9.775. Freshman Karrie Thomas posted a 9.800 and sophomore Kirsten Peterman earned a 9.825. Freshman Audrey Barber notched the team’s highest score on the apparatus with a 9.875 and sophomore Alecia Farina anchored with a 9.850.
The team then moved to beam for the second rotation, where LeBlanc earned a 9.750, Barber led with a 9.800 and Agaran anchored with a 9.700.
The Terps were up next on floor, where they tallied a team score of 48.975. Junior Megan McClelland and freshman Sabriyya Rouse posted a pair of 9.750s and Peterman and Thomas notched a pair of 9.775s. Farina earned a 9.850 and Barber anchored with a 9.825.
Maryland finished the evening on vault. Peterman paced the team with a 9.725 and freshman Collea Burgess and Barber earned a pair of 9.800s. Sophomore Morgan Bixler led the team with a 9.825 and Farina’s 9.775 anchored as the Terps posted a 48.925.
Barber and Peterman each competed in the all around. Peterman posted a 39.300 and Peterman notched a 38.650.