Michigan wins 2023 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championship
CORALVILLE, Iowa — For the 27th time in program history and the eighth time in nine years, the University of Michigan has won the Big Ten women’s gymnastics title, taking the crown Saturday night at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa. The Wolverines posted a team score of 198,000 to return to the top of the podium for the second straight year and give head coach Bev Plocki his 26th conference title, extending his record for most championships by no any Big Ten coach in any sport.
Michigan State finished second this year with 197.550 points (the Spartans’ highest team score at the Big Ten Championships), with Minnesota coming out of the afternoon session to place third with 197.250 points. Ohio State finished fourth (196.975), Illinois took fifth place (196.800) and Nebraska took sixth place with a score of 196.275. Penn State was seventh (196.200), Big Ten Championship host Iowa eighth (196.125), while Maryland (195.900) and Rutgers (195.125) rounded out the field in ninth and 10th, respectively.
Michigan’s Abby Heiskell won the 2023 Big Ten all-around title with 39.700, becoming the third Wolverine gymnast to repeat as an all-around champion and the first since 2004-05. Heiskell also recorded the only perfect score of the day with a 10.0 on beam to finish on the top step of the podium. It is the first 10.0 on beam at the Big Ten championships since Nikki Smith of Penn State in 2000.
Heiskell added a 9.950 to bars to share the title with Illinois teammates Mia Takekawa, Michigan Carly Bauman, Sierra Brooks and Natalie Wojcik, and Michigan State’s Delanie Harkness, marking the third straight year and 17th time in the history of the Big Ten Championships that an individual has won three event titles in a single encounter.
Michigan’s Gabby Wilson, Michigan State’s Sage Kellerman and Minnesota’s Mya Hooten shared the Big Ten title on vault with a total of 9.925, while Iowa’s JerQuavia Henderson and Gopher’s Hooten shared the title of the floor conference with a score of 9.950.
A total of 14 gymnasts earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Championships team based on their performances in Saturday’s meet, including five from Michigan, four from Michigan State, two from Illinois and from Iowa and one from Illinois.
After Saturday’s game, the Big Ten also presented their individual awards, as voted on by the conference’s 10 head coaches. Brooks, a senior from Plainfield, Illinois, was selected as Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, marking the 14th time a Wolverine has won the award and the first Michigan gymnast to win the honor back-to-back since Beth Wymer. (1994-95).
Michigan State’s Nikki Smith won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, the fourth Spartan to win the award and the second in as many years. Spartan head coach Mike Rowe received Big Ten Coach of the Year accolades from his conference colleagues, earning his second consecutive award.
The 2023 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Individual Award Recipients and All Championship Team can be found below.
2023 BIG TEN WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS HONORS
Big Ten Gymnast of the Year: Sierra Brooks, Michigan
Big Ten Freshman of the Year: Nikki Smith, Michigan State
Big Ten Coach of the Year: Mike Rowe, Michigan State
TEAM ALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Mia Takekawa, Ill.
Jer Quavia Henderson, Iowa
Adeline Kenlin, Iowa
Carly Bauman, Mich.
Sierra Brooks, Michigan
Abby Heiskell, Mich.
Gabby Wilson, Mich.
Natalie Wojcik, Michigan
Baleigh Garcia, State of Michigan
Delanie Harkness, State of Michigan
Sage Kellerman, State of Michigan
Skyla Schulte, Michigan State
Mya Hooten, Minnesota
Gianna Gerdes, Minnesota
HONORED FOR SPORTSMANSHIP
Julia Waight, Ill.
Aubrey Nick, Iowa
Austynn Lacasse, Maryland
Ashley Lane (Michigan)
Skyla Schulte, Michigan State
Mallory LeNeave, Minnesota
Kathryn Thaler, Nebraska
Raina Malas, Ohio State
Grace Harrell, State of Pennsylvania
Kaitlyn Bertola, Rutgers