A three-year standout for the Nebraska Women’s Gymnastics team, Megan Schweihofer enters her senior year with the accolades that student-athletes only dream of achieving when they step on campus. As a freshman, she helped get the Huskers to the NCAA Tournament as a two-event specialist in the vault and balance beam. Schweihofer, an accounting major from China, Michigan, spent her sophomore and junior seasons as an all-around performer, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore and becoming the Big Ten All-Around champion as a junior.
“Megan has completely embraced the culture and tradition of our program,” said Dan Kendig, head coach of the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team. “She emulates everything that we expect of our student-athletes here. I’ve always been a proponent of team above self, and each day is about making the team better. I believe she’s in that place now, and that’s what makes her such a great leader and teammate.”
Her phenomenal junior season led to her being named a Second Team All-American and First Team All-Big Ten. Her team finished sixth in the nation after advancing to their twelfth “Super Six” finals in school history. As the rising senior prepares for her last season of competitive gymnastics, the team has dreams of reaching the NCAA Gymnastics Final Four, as the format switches from the “Super Six” this year. Though it felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders as a junior, Schweihofer plans on enjoying her final year to the fullest.
“I want to have as much fun as I can and be more stress-free in my senior year,” she said. “The memories I have from last season were unforgettable, but I still feel like I always carried a ton of stress with it being my first full year as an all-around competitor. It helps I have coaches who trust me completely. I just want to do everything I can to love what I’m doing and experience this ride with my teammates.”
One of the things that has helped her decompress and take some stress off are frequent visits to Legacy Retirement Communities in South Lincoln. Here, she gets to spend time meeting elderly residents enjoying their later years of life. Whether it’s playing games with them or just talking about life, the experiences she’s had at Legacy have been one of her favorite parts of her time as a Husker.
“Besides the opportunity to compete in the Big Ten, one of the top reasons I chose Nebraska were the opportunities offered through the Life Skills department. I’m in an elder outreach program at Legacy where I gained a whole new perspective listening to the stories that these people have. You can see how much they appreciate the time and conversation, and they have honestly had a huge impact on my life as well,” she said.
A standout student in the College of Business, Schweihofer was named a National Association of Collegiate Gymnastic Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) Scholastic All-American as a freshman. Also a two-time member of the Academic All-Big Ten team (2017-18), she believes she would not have been able to accomplish what she has academically if it weren’t for the faculty at Nebraska Business. One professor in particular has been able to witness first-hand the capabilities she has in the classroom.
“I truly enjoyed learning from Megan’s experiences in gymnastics and life in general,” said Dr. Troy Smith, assistant professor of management. “Being that my course is about motivating people and teams to work effectively, her experiences on the gymnastics team were highly insightful for me and the class to learn from. She was incredible at applying course content to her personal life. Despite all the time commitments of being a collegiate athlete, Megan always came to class and contributed significantly to our discussions.”
When her final season of collegiate gymnastics concludes next spring, Schweihofer will be entering the working world full-time. For now, she works as an intern at the Lincoln-based company HUMANeX Ventures, working with clients to build their individual skill sets before placing them in opportunities to succeed professionally. With all the work she's put in to get to this point, her coaches and advisors have no doubt she will be just as successful off the mat as she’s been on it.