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Six Huskers Head to Athens for NCAA Regional

Athens, Ga. — Six Husker gymnasts head to Georgia to take part in the NCAA Athens Regional on Friday, April 2. Nebraska’s representatives will battle for a spot at the National Championships later this month.

NU has at least one gymnast competing at the Athens Regional as an individual competitor on each apparatus. Senior Anika Dujakovich will compete on vault, while junior Kynsee Roby and freshman Kinsey Davis will perform on uneven bars. Roby, junior Kaitlyn Higgins and sophomore Kathryn Thaler take the stage on balance beam and Kylie Piringer will represent the Huskers on floor exercise. 

Dujakovich qualified for the NCAA Tournament on vault, where she ranks 24th in the nation. She holds a national qualifying score of 9.913 and a season-high of 9.95. Throughout the 2021 season, Dujakovich has amassed five event titles and finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships on vault with a 9.90, earning All-Big Ten Championships Team honors. For her efforts throughout the season, she earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors.

Roby will take part in the NCAA Tournament on two apparatuses, uneven bars and balance beam. Roby had a breakout season in 2021, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors. She holds an NQS of 9.919 on balance beam, which ranks her 21st in the nation and holds a season high of 9.925 on uneven bars. Her season highlight came on Feb. 7 against Rutgers, when she posted a career-high of 9.95 on balance beam. 

Higgins will represent NU at the NCAA Tournament on balance beam. The Walworth, Wis. native was a consistent performer on beam this season, recording an NQS of 9.881 with a season high of 9.90. She posted an event title on the apparatus at Penn State on Jan. 23.Higgins posted a 9.90 twice this season, including at the Big Ten Championships, which placed her 3rd individually and helped her earn All-Big Ten Championship Team honors. 

Davis qualified for the NCAA Tournament on uneven bars following a strong freshman campaign. Davis finished the season with an NQS of 9.881 on the event with a career-high of 9.95. She was named the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on March 1 for her efforts at the Big Five meet. Her high of the season is currently tied for the 12th highest score in the nation on bars. 

Piringer will compete on floor exercise at the 2021 NCAA Regionals. Piringer was NU’s strongest performer on floor, holding an NQS of 9.881 and a season-high of 9.90. She recorded her season-high at the Big Five meet on Feb. 26, and her score of 9.90 placed her second in a field of 30 gymnasts. She recorded scores of 9.80 or higher seven times in 2021. 

Thaler will cap off her sophomore season as a qualifier for the NCAA Tournament on balance beam. Thaler enters regionals with an NQS of 9.869 on beam and a season-high of 9.90. She recorded her season-high on Feb. 7 against Rutgers, and her performance earned her second place for the event. She has recorded scores of 9.85 or higher four times in 2021.

The Huskers take the floor in Athens on Friday, April 2 during the evening session at 6 p.m. The meet will be streamed on ESPN3.

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