Nikki Smith named B1G Gymnast of the Week and Freshman of the Week


Sarah Smith

The awards podium after Michigan State’s meet against No. 3 Michigan on January 22, 2023. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Faith Flickinger, Volleyball and Gymnastics Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Big Ten conference has named Michigan State freshman Nikki Smith both Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and Freshman of the Week after leading the Spartans to a historic win over No. 3 Michigan on Jan. 22. 

Smith earned conference honors for the first time in her career and became the first Spartan to collect both awards in the same week since Skyla Schulte did on March 8, 2022. 

Smith shares the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week award with Iowa’s Adeline Kenlin and Rutgers’ Hannah Joyner.

She played a crucial role in MSU’s victory over Michigan last weekend. In the meet, she set two career highs. On vault, she scored a 9.950 and for all-around, she scored 39.525 which led her to win the all-around title. 

Smith tied her career highs on beam and floor against the Wolverines, finishing in a tie for seventh on beam with a 9.825 and placing fourth on floor with a 9.900. She finished in fourth place on bars with a 9.850. 

Additionally, Smith tied for fifth all-time in program history for all-around and tied for third all-time on vault. 

Smith and the Spartan gymnastics team return to action on Sunday, Jan. 29 in College Park, Maryland. The event is scheduled for 1 p.m.