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Me'co Brown • Football

Why did you decide to come to NIU? When I was younger, I always wanted to play football far away from home. When I visited the campus, I fell in love with this place. The coaches were great and I really felt deep-down that there was a family atmosphere here. I also felt like I could graduate and that's my number one goal in college.

What is your favorite activity outside of sports? I love watching highlight tapes of the NFL players who inspire me on the football field. I'm constantly watching players who I admire, such as Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson, Devin Hester and Steve Smith.

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Shoshanna Brown • Track & Field

How did you get started in track and field? My step mom used to do track in high school in Jamaica. She was like "You should go out for the track team" and I was like "No, I hate running." So, one day I just showed up for practice and never left. I didn't know I was good in jumps until the end of my sophomore year at conference actually. My coach said "I'm going to put you in this and see how you do," and I ended up winning both long and triple, so it was pretty good. I think practiced it once before that meet.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten from Coach Teaberry? Believe in yourself. Even if nobody else does.

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Willie Clark • Football

What do you enjoy most about being an athlete at NIU? A lot of people look up to you as a student-athlete. I like that responsibility of being a role model and having little kids and other students look up to me.

What is the hardest part of being a student athlete? It is 365 days a year and you are constantly working hard.

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Adam Coleman • Football

Why did you decide to come to NIU? The location, being close to home (Bettendorf, Iowa) and the coaches, especially (head) coach (Jerry) Kill. I'm also a business major and the business school here is highly respected.

If you could have a superhero power, what would it be? The ability to cure cancer.

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Tristen DeShazer • Wrestling

How did you start wrestling? My dad was a two-time high school state champion in Kansas, so it runs in the family. I started when I was seven.

What is your greatest athletic accomplishment? Being a four time state champion in Kansas. Also, I was the first African-American four-time state champion.

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Bryan Deutsch • Wrestling

What's the best advice you've gotten from Coach Grant? Coach Grant told me shooting a high-crotch is like riding a horse, shooting a bow-and-arrow, and aiming at a duck all at the same time. That probably meant more to me than most. Just the image of Coach Grant riding a horse sideways, shooting a duck with a bow-and-arrow stuck with me.

Who's your hero? My hero has always been Sir Edmund Hillary. He was the first one to climb Mt. Everest. When he died this year, under his name, for his occupation, it said "Adventurer." That's the coolest thing.

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Adam Ford • Men's Tennis

How has being a student-athlete at NIU helped or changed you? Being a student athlete has helped me with time management. Since I do not have a lot of free time, I have to make the most of it and multi-task a lot of the time. It really shows you what hard work can do for you, and I feel this skill will pay off later, if not now.

Why did you decide to come to NIU? I was looking to play Division I tennis, and Coach gave me a call to look at Northern. I came to campus on an official trip and loved it. I met the team and they were a great group of guys. It seemed like the perfect fit.

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Meghan Ginter • Track & Field/Cross Country

Tell us something that most people would not know about cross-country. People think of it as a individual sport and it is not at all. Even if you are number nine and the only top-5 score points you are still important to the team. Your place still matters. Just having the encouragement of your teammates being there with you is huge in cross-country.

Tell us something funny about cross country coach Mark McConeghey. There are a lot of funny things about coach. He has a bunch of weird saying for when you give him excuses. We always have to laugh at the stuff he comes up with.

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Zach Jecklin • Men's Golf

What is your most memorable shot at NIU? Probably topping my tee shot directly into a water hazard in Nebraska on the second hold of my NIU career. It wasn't exactly a good memory.

Who would play you in a movie about your life? Matthew McConaughey, obviously because of my good looks. In all seriousness, I think we would get along great and have a lot in common.

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Leah Johnson • Gymnastics

Why did you decide to come to NIU? When I came on my recruiting trip, I met the girls [on the gymnastics team] and they sold me; they were so nice. They are like my family now. They made my [recruiting] trip so much fun that I knew I would have a blast here.

What do you think is your most memorable moment at NIU so far? Probably, when we beat U of I[at the state championship meet] this year. That was awesome because I knew most of the girls on their team and they thought they had us beat.

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Tim Kay • Men's Golf

What is your dream golf foursome and why? I would take Tiger Woods because he is the best golfer in the world, Michael Jordan because he is a great athlete and competitor, and Lou Piniella because I am a big Cubs fan.


Most embarrassing sports moment? Freshman year at Ball State I hit two straight balls into the water in front of Coach and a bunch of people waiting to tee off.

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Jesse Linczmaier • Wrestling

Best Moment at NIU: Getting the fastest pin at Midlands.


Pre-Match Rituals: Try to relax. Control my breathing and keep moving so my legs won't get tight.

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Jennifer NaughtonGymnastics

What's your nickname? "Red" has been my nickname since I was five. There were about five other Jennifers in my gymnastics class, so my first coach gave me the nickname to keep from getting confused.

Who has had the greatest impact on your life thus far? My mom. She has been through everything with me. She is a strong person who works hard, and I am always striving to be as good a person as her. She always has my back and is my best friend.

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Michelle NendzaSoftball

What is your most memorable moment in your four years? Playing Akron at the 2006 MAC tournament, Bailey (Ouellette) and I hit back-to-back home runs and we won the game in the last inning.

Do you have any rituals for the batter's box? Before I step up to the plate I take a deep breath, squeeze my handle, hit my bat and then I step into the batter's box.

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Abbie ManyWomen's Golf

What do you enjoy most about being on the golf team here at NIU? I like the fact that coming in as a freshman, I had an immediate family in my teammates. Also, the continued support from the entire athletic department is very encouraging.

I am the video game champion of... Either Dr. Mario or the first Mario on original Nintendo.

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Dave Reynolds • Baseball

First off, I hear that you're a White Sox fan. How did you become one? Well, I was born on the south side. My dad and my older brother are Sox fans and I just adapted it from them.

What is the best advice you have received from one of your coaches? Don't let anyone ever outwork you. My summer baseball coach stresses that.

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Ashley Rittenbacher • Cross Country/Track & Field

What is your favorite food? Ice cream, vanilla and mint. I like Chinese food a lot. I like everything as long as it's not red or has vegetables.

What's your biggest fear? I'm afraid of heights pretty bad. I get really freaked out at Starved Rock and that's not even that high. The Sears Tower, that was pretty scary.

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Stacey Rosch • Track & Field


My First Memory of Track and Field: In seventh grade I was the alternate for the 4x400 relay team, they needed me to run and we got first place. I was so excited.

Best Advice From A Coach: My high school coach, Bud Swanson, told me "at the end of a race the deciding factor isn't your legs, it's your heart."

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Aaron Zendejas • Men's Soccer

What is the best advice you have received from one of your coaches? My head coach Steve Simmons, when he was recruiting me, said, "Aaron, playing for me is going to be the toughest thing you'll ever love."

What is your favorite activity outside of sports? I'm a pretty good artist, I have a sketchbook that I like to do.

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