The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 22, 1999, Page 8, Image 8

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    k .
Each vault is categorized in the Code of Points, the official text
giving relevant value of each skill performed. The gymnast is
required to pass through certain minimum height and distance
requirements on every vault.
The entire floor area must be used during the exercise, which
consists primarily of three to five tumbling passes performed
in different directions.
The routine on the horizontal bar consists exclusively of
swinging parts without stops. The parts are generally called
giant swings, with more specific terms applying to changes in
grip, direction and body position.
The gymnast must cover all three areas of the horse, the mid
dle and both ends, while performing continuous circular move
ments interrupted only by the required scissor elements.
A parallel bars routine consists of swinging, flight and hold
elements. The gymnast is required to execute two swinging
elements, one supported and one from a hang. The gymnast is
also required to perform a skill in which both hands release
and regrasp the bars, commonly referred to as a release move.
The still rings must include at least
two handstands: one arrived
through strength, the other through
swing. At least one element of
strength must be held for two sec
Graphics by Matt Haney and Jon Frank
NU gymnasts
hope to beat
strong field
■ Hardabura and the Huskers prepare for
to peak Thursday while trying to top Big Ten
powers Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.
By Darren Ivy
Senior staff writer , ..
As the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championship press con
ference wound down Wednesday and reporters were running
out of questions, Nebraska’s Jason Hardabura came back with a
question of his own.
“What are you guys expecting out of the gymnastics meet
tomorrow?” Hardabura asked the 10 to 15 media people in
attendance. '4
Hearing no response, the sophomore from Tdronto, Ontario,
proceeded to answer his own question.
“You are going to see a dogfight,” said Hardabura as his pas
sion for gymnastics showed through in the way he talked.
“There will be six teams giving 110 percent. You will see a
lot of great gymnastics out there. It’s an event spectators will
really enjoy.”
Team competition begins tonight at 7 p.m. in the Bob
Devaney Sports Center for the 57th Annual NCAA
Championships, with the top three teams advancing to Friday’s
Being at home, many opposing coaches list the fifth-ranked
Comhuskers as the favorite, but NU Coach Francis Allen said
it’s any team’s meet to win.
“It will be as quality of an NCAA as I’ve seen in some time,”
said Allen, who in his 30 years at NU has won eight national
The Cornhuskers are playing host to the NCAA
Championships for the 11th time, and are seeking their ninth
national title. The last time NU won a national championship
was 1994, which has many of the Husker gymnasts hungry for
“I think everyone is as fired up as I am,” Hardabura said.
“It’s been a long time coming.”
On paper, the teams who stand between NU and another
national title are Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, although
NU defeated Penn State earlier this year.
All those teams are from the East region. The contrast in
scores between West region and East region teams has many
East region coaches upset. Third-ranked Iowa finished fourth in
the East region and failed to qualify, but would have been sec
ond in West.
“I haven’t met any teams from the West,” Coach Kurt Golder
said. “I don’t know what to expect. The East is very tough.
We’ve been beating each other up all year long. I think it’s going
to be close between the teams from die East. I don’t know how
the teams from the West fit in.”
Said Allen: “It’s hard to compare East scores with West
scores. If I were there I could tell you how they compared. It’s
like comparing apples and oranges.”
Hardabura and his five healthy NU teammates aren’t going
to worry about how they stack up to the competition.
“Our goals are obvious,” Hardabura said. “We want to win a
national championship. But the way I see it, win, lose or draw
everyone here is a winner. This is die big dance - the icing on
the cake.”
NU’s lack of depth is one of the things that makes them vul
nerable in the three-day meet, Penn State Coach Randy Jepson
Defending national champion Marshall Nelson has missed
the whole season to recover from a tom anterior cruciate liga
ment in his knee, and several other NU gymnasts also are side
lined with injuries leaving Allen with six gymnasts.
“I’ve never come in with six people and won a national
championship,” Allen said. “Fve come in with seven or eight I
wish we had a few more. You get blue-chip all-arounders and
they will beat specialists most days.”
Hardabura is one of those blue-chip all-arounders, coming
into the meet with the top all-around score. Derek Leiter and
Martin Fournier are Huskers that rank in the Top 20 in the all
around. These three gymnasts, along with senior Jim Koziol and
junior Blake Bukacek, will try to give the home fans something
to cheer about.
“Nobody remembers who was ranked No. 1 at the end of the
regular season,” Hardabura said. “It’s where you finish at the
end of the season ”