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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 16, 2000)
Brink hits perfection, NU wins
By Jason Merrihew
What was expected to be a close rematch of
two top 10 powerhouses proved to be a one-team
The ^-ranked Nebraska women’s gymnas
tics team jumped on die 8th-ranked Iowa State
early, and never looked back. The Comhuskers
easily beat die Cyclones 196.60 to 192.25.
“We competed well enough to win tonight,”
NU Coach Dan Kendig said. “Unfortunately,
Iowa State didn’t have one of their better meets.
“What they scored last weekend at home was
a real eye-opener for us. Tonight, we proved we
were the better team.”
In true showmanship fashion, senior All
American Headier Brink, electrified the crowd of
964 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center by hitting
the ultimate mark in gymnastics, a perfect 10.
Brink proved why she is die best in the nation
on the vault On her second attempt die Lincoln
native shattered die school record, scoring a per
fect 10.0 on the apparatus - the first woman to do
so in NU history.
Brink nearly missed a perfect score on her
first attempt hitting a 9.975.
“I thought I did a good vault One judge threw
a 10 while another judge threw a 9.95,” Brink
said. “It was a little disappointing, I felt but I had
nothing to lose on die second one, and Dan was
n’t going to make me go for it but I asked to do
The performance inspired oohs and ahhs
from those in attendance, including Iowa State
Coach Amy Pyle.
“It was an awesome vault” Pyle said.
The vault catapulted Brink to her best career
all-around finish with a score of 39.675, a new
Nebraska school record. Brink won the uneven
bars with a 9.90 and the floor exercise with a
9.925, which tied her career best.
Not to be overshadowed as a team, the
Huskers had a season best and second best in
school history with a score of 196.60.
Other than the balance beam, which was won
by Iowa State’s Kelli Moore, a Bellevue native,
the Cornhuskers were able to take the first
through third places in the other individual
Freshman A. J. Lamb battled through a sore
ankle to finish second behind Brink in the all
Please see BRINK on 11
HEATHER BRINK celebrates after her first vault
after stw scored a perfect 10 from one judge and
the other Judge gave her a 9.95. Brink was Just
as solid on her second vault where she received
perfect 10% from both Judges.
Nil TRACK athlete Janet Dutton, who set the NCAA indoor record In the pentathlon, left her track career behind, along with her future hus
band and college education, to go on a Mormon mission to Spain. Dutton Is now working to gut back Into championship form.
and feels just
By Jamie Suhr
Janet Dutton never faced a
decision as tough as the one she
contemplated in August of
She was on top of the colle
giate women’s track world.
After starting out as a walk-on,
she set the NCAA indoor record
in the pentathlon.
Only one year earlier, she
had been the youngest competi
tor in the Olympic Trials in
Atlanta, where she competed
But none of those things
mattered to Janet Dutton, then
Janet Blomstedt, as much as her
religion. A member of the
Mormon faith, she left her ath
letic career behind for an 18
month mission to Spain.
“It was hard,” she said. “I
was leaving a good track career,
my future husband and school. I
had to start over.”
Leaving her future husband,
Ben Dutton, was even harder
than leaving her career behind.
She left behind her parents
and all her friends as well.
Eighteen months later, Janet
Dutton came back to reclaim it.
She knew her time to serve
her church was coming.
She was engaged to be mar
ried and said leaving her then
fiancee, Ben Dutton, would
have been better sooner rather
“I knew it was going to be
hard to leave him, but I knew it
would be harder if I stayed
another year or two and then
decided to leave,” she said.
Ben Dutton is also Mormon.
He spent two years serving
on a mission in Ecuador. He
believed his wife made the right
“I didn’t try to dissuade her,
but I wanted her to see all sides,”
After making her decision,
she met with her coaches to dis
cuss her future. At first, she said,
the coaches were disappointed
with her decision, but they
“When you have a religious
issue, it’s not difficult at all, but
you always take it selfishly
when you lose a good athlete,”
NU Coach Gary Pepin said.
Steve Smith, assistant
women’s sprints and multi
events coach, worked exclusive
ly with Janet Dutton in 1996 and
1997. Smith said she showed a
lot of promise, but she still had a
long way to go before die would
makethe Olympic team.
“I knew if die took two years
off it would be extremely diffi
cult, if (making the Olympic
team) was her plan,” Smith said.
“But she also had a religious
The plan was this: During
her mission, Janet Dutton spent
time in Sevilla, Malaga and
Cadiz, all along Spain’s south
ern coast, bordering on the
Please see DUTTON on 11
Coming off a much-needed victory
over Kansas, the Nebraska women’s
basketball team, 12-10 overall and 6-5
in the Big 12 conference, will be travel
ing to Texas to take on Texas Tech on
The Comhuskers have a tall order
when they play Tech, which boasts a 19
3 overall record (8-3 in the Big 12) and
is ranked No. 9 in the nation.
Coach Paul Sanderford is anxiously
looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ve been watching film, and they
are having trouble scoring,” Sanderford
said. “They don’t have the shooters they
had in the past. But you don’t go 19-3
and ranked ninth in the country if you’re
not a good team.”
Even though Tech is struggling on
offense, Sanderford praises their style
“They are very athletic and do not
give up many points,” he said. “They’re
a very good defensive team.”
Sanderford’s main concern is how
the Huskers will perform in the last
minutes of their remaining five games
before the Big 12 championship
“One of my major concerns is die
last five minutes of the game,”
Sanderford said. “Against KU we did
not score a field goal in the last 3:20 of
die game. I think a lot of this has to do
with not winning.”
Another factor that Sanderford is
concerned about is the home-court
advantage Tech will have.
“Tech is tough at home,”
Sanderford said. “They are averaging
14,000 a game. The crowd is their sixth
person. Hopefully our team will not be
affected by it”
NU senior captain Nicole Kubik is
not worried about the Red Raider
“Our team is used to playing against
»tough crowds,” Kubik said.
Although the Huskers have been
struggling this year, Kubik still has faith
in her teammates.
- “Everyone on this team believes
they could win against anyone in the
Big 12. If you do not feel that way you
shouldn’t be playing,” Kubik said. “It
would be tremendous to win this
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