Michigan Tops Big 10 Preseason Poll

The Big 10 released its annual preseason coaches poll today, with defending Big 10 champions Michigan at the top. Regular season co-champions, Nebraska, come in at number two. See the full list below, with last years’ conference championship place in parentheses, followed by the change in position.

  1. Michigan (1, no change)
  2. Nebraska (4, +2)
  3. Iowa (3, no change)
  4. Ohio State (5, +1)
  5. Penn State (T6, +1)
  6. Minnesota (8, +2)
  7. Illinois (2, -5)
  8. Michigan State (T6, -2)
  9. Maryland (10, +1)
  10. Rutgers (9, -1)

The Big Ten release also includes gymnasts to watch, highlighting two gymnasts from each program. That list is as follows:

Rae Balthazor, So., Illinois
Bridget Hodan, Sr., Illinois
Clair Kaji, So., Iowa
Lanie Snyder, Sr., Iowa
Alecia Farina, So., Maryland
Audrey Barber, Fr., Maryland
Olivia Karas, Jr., Michigan
Brianna Brown, Sr., Michigan
Gabriella Douglas, So., Michigan State
Lea Mitchell, Fr., Michigan State
Hannah Hitchcock, Sr., Minnesota
Lexy Ramler, Fr., Minnesota
Megan Schweihofer, Jr., Nebraska
Sienna Crouse, Jr., Nebraska
Jenna Swartzentruber, Fr., Ohio State
Alexis Mattern, Sr., Ohio State
Briannah Tsang, Sr., Penn State
Lauren Bridgens, Fr., Penn State
Libby Groden, Sr., Rutgers
Makenzey Shank, Sr., Rutgers

Notably missing from this list are Illinois’ redshirt senior Mary Jane Horth, who has been in a boot, and junior Lizzy LeDuc, as well as Penn State’s Sabrina Garcia, a junior. Garcia and Tsang have traditionally been Penn State’s strongest athletes, but Bridgens has shown strong preseason training, including a Yurchenko 1.5, which has earned her the spot beside Tsang. Balthazor has also added a Yurchenko 1.5 for the Illini. Rutgers’ Groden ups her floor difficulty for her final season with the addition of an E pass, a front double twist, this year.

Article by Emily Minehart

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