Gymnastics Team Takes Fourth Place at Illinois Quad Meet

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The Huskies have a combined team score of 194.475 in the competition.

Zohair Khan

Senior Tara Kofmehl performs on balance beam in a Feb. 14 matchup against Illinois State University at the Convocation Center in DeKalb. Kofmehl finished his most recent performance against Ball State University on Friday with 9.625 on beam and 9.875 on floor. (Zohair Khan | North Star)

The women’s gymnastics team finished fourth in the last quadruple meet of the season. The Huskies took on the University of Illinois, Boise State University and Central Michigan University in Friday’s U of I quad meet in Champaign.

NIU earned an overall score of 194.475. Their score was lower at 197.125 for Illinois, 196.550 for Boise State and 196.275 for Central Michigan.

How did it happen

The Huskies started the event on the uneven parallel bars. Junior Natalie Hamp earned the best result for NIU, scoring 9.875 to tie for eighth place among all performers in this event. Boise State fifth-year Emily Muhlenhaupt had the highest bar score with a 9.975.

NIU then took the beam for their second event of the night. Rookie Ellery Werner scored 9.850 for her performance, leading the Huskies and finishing tied for ninth among all performers on balance beam with Boise State all-rounder Emily Lopez. Werner’s beam score also tied his career for his young college career.

Senior Tara Kofmehl stormed through the floor exercise on Friday, finishing first in the event with a score of 9.925, also tying a career high. Kofmehl’s performance was followed by Illinois sophomore Amelia Knight’s 9.900 overall.

The Huskies finished the meet on vault, recording their weakest collective performance compared to the rest of the competitive field. Junior Brookelyn Sears clocked a 9.975, leading all NIU artists and ending in a four-way tie for 13th overall.

NIU had two all-rounders of the four that performed in Thursday’s quad meet. Hooper earned an overall score of 38.975 and Sears earned a 38.275. Both scores ended in the bottom half of all-around scores as Illinois junior Mia Takekawa took first place at 39.475 and Michigan Central junior Hannah Demers became second at 39.250.

Coach Morreale’s thoughts

On the team’s overall performance:

“We’ve seen the same thing we’ve seen most of the year,” head coach Sam Morreale said in news from NIU Athletics. Release. “We had some positives, but overall there were too many misses and too many mistakes.”

On Morgan Hooper’s overall performance:

“Morgan has always trained hard, she works hard every day,” Morreale said. “I think as a senior she settles in and enjoys her last go-around instead of pushing too hard and putting pressure on herself. It’s great to see.

The final result

NIU now sits 9-10 overall with a 2-3 record against Mid-American Conference opponents. The Huskies’ losing streak now jumps to five with their loss.

Look forward

The Huskies hit the road to take on Eastern Michigan University in the final doubleheader of the season on March 13 at 1 p.m. in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

NIU will later return to Ypsilanti the following week on March 19 at 2 p.m. to compete in the MAC Championship with the Eagles.

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