2018 Big Ten Conference Season Preview

The Big Ten has had a big shake-up this offseason, which brings new excitement to 2018. The conference has four new head coaches this season (Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, and Michigan State) along with new assistant coaches. 

These staffs bring a fresh intensity to the conference and excitement. The fresh faces could bring new teams to the top of the Big Ten as they aim to the consistency of Michigan and Nebraska.

Let’s take a look at the top teams in the Big Ten based on incoming freshmen, overall talent, and coaching.

1. Michigan

The Michigan Wolverines are again the favorite within the Big Ten this season, as they are the four-time defending conference champs. Michigan has big routines to replace, losing Nicole Artz and Talia Chiarelli, but have young talent to step in to make an impact. 

The Wolverines are led by juniors Olivia Karas and Emma McLean along with senior Brianna Brown, who is back to full strength and ready to shine. This year's team has three 10.0 start values on vault that provides an extra boost. Watch for freshman Lauren Farley to bring a huge beam routine to the lineup.

Strengths: Leadership, experience
Challenges: Depth
Gymnasts to watch: Olivia Karas, Brianna Brown, Emma McLean


2. Nebraska  

The Cornhuskers bring in seven freshmen this season as they aim to take the top spot in the Big Ten. Nebraska also replaces big routines from last year’s seniors, Jennie Laeng and Ashley Lambert this season, along with freshman Kynsee Roby, who tore her ACL in March. Look for Nebraska to have a consistent season and peak at the right time as they try win a Big Ten title and make a run at Super Six.

Strengths: Consistency  
Challenges: Young team
Gymnasts to watch: Catelyn Orel



3. Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes are with a new head coach in Meredith Paulicivic for the 2018 season. The team has a new energy and attention to detail this season that is a key to their success. Look for the Buckeyes to surprise a lot of teams this season and push to be one of the top teams in the Big Ten. Ohio State welcomes in four freshmen who look to boost this team and make a big splash within the Big Ten. 

Strengths: New leadership
Challenges: Experience
Gymnasts to watch: Jamie Stone, Alexis Mattern, Jenna Swartzentruber

Highlights from Ohio State's intrasquad this preseason:


Other Teams in Contention

Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota, Illinois, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State

Who do you think will be the top team out of the Big 10 this season?

[polldaddy]=9903774

The Biggest All-Around Threats To Simone Biles At The 2018 GK U.S. Classic

Simone Biles is back. 

World, Olympic, U.S. Champions To Compete At 2018 GK U.S. Classic

Press release via USA Gymnastics.

USA Gymnastics Announces Athlete Task Force

Press release via USA Gymnastics.

The Vault: Future Florida Gator Trinity Thomas Finds Success In Tokyo

How Long Can You Stand It with Trinity Thomas

Back in 2016, we spoke with Trinity Thomas about one of the dreams she had as a young gymnast: to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Whether she participates in the next Games or not, the University of Florida-bound Thomas has already found some success in Tokyo. The York, Pennsylvania, product secured an all-around silver medal at the Tokyo World Cup in April. 

5 Routines That Impressed Us At The 2018 American Classic

Last weekend, the American Classic in Salt Lake City gave us our first look at some new elites and new routines for the 2018 season. Usually held closed-door at the Karolyi Ranch, this year the American Classic was open to the public at the University of Utah campus and also live-streamed by USA Gymnastics on YouTube. Some gymnasts used the meet as a tune-up or event to get experience, while others were going all out looking to qualify to this year’s U.S. Championships in August. 

DiCello, Jones Lead Top Difficulty & Execution At The 2018 American Classic

The 2018 American Classic took place over the weekend in Salt Lake City, with 10 juniors and seven seniors qualifying to the U.S. Championships in August. Junior Kayla DiCello from Hill’s Gymnastics won the junior all-around with the highest score of the entire competition, a 55.400, while Shilese Jones from Future Gymnastics won the senior all-around with a 53.900. 

Kayla DiCello Takes Junior AA Title At 2018 American Classic

Hill's Gymnastics' Kayla DiCello took the top spot today for the juniors at the 2018 American Classic in Salt Lake City, totaling a  huge 55.400 in the all-around, the highest score out of both the juniors and seniors. 

Ava San Jose, Mya Witte Victorious At 2018 Hopes Classic

An exciting weekend of gymnastics began on Friday in Salt Lake City, with young gymnasts from across the nation showing some stunning routines. Find out what you missed below. 

National Team Members & Top Elites Headline 2018 American Classic

The 2018 American Classic will take place Saturday, July 7, in Salt Lake City, and provide an opportunity for gymnasts to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Championships in August. Junior and senior elites will be competing and be aiming to reach a certain score in either the all-around, on three events, or on two events in order to qualify. Seniors must score a 52.0 in the all-around, 39.75 on three events, or 27.0 on two events. Juniors must hit a 51.0 in the all-around. 

Celebrate July 4th With USA Mini-Camp: Nutrition Covered In Betsy's Kitchen

Back in March, Mary Lee Tracy opened up her gym Cincinnati Gymnastics to 18 elite athletes for a USA minicamp, and with the upcoming U.S. Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston.